20 August 2008

After thoughts on Wong Kar-wai's "IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE"

Sheer poetry in motion – that’s how I would describe Wong Kar-wai’s cinematic appeal. I know I am no expert but as a general film buff I can only say that “ In the Mood for Love” evokes brilliance in all ways possible.

The story is seemingly slow. It is in no hurry. It moves at its own speed but the better part is that you do not want to move fast, the pace takes over you and every sequence, done in deliberate slow motion curbs you to control your pace. Even the mundane of scenes come alive like – the smoke coming out of Chow’s cigarettes, the flutter of the red curtains in the narrow hallway, droplets of rain, the noodle steam, the grill of a small metal fan …

As mused by a critic, “WKW not only chooses a theme with universal importance, the struggle between repression and indulgence, but he handles it with fairness and consistency. But In the Mood is great because it doesn't take sides, or if it does, at least it doesn't force you to choose. But it is that repression which is internalized that is more compelling.”

"It is a restless moment
She has kept her head lowered, to give him a chance to come closer.
But he could not, for lack of courage.
She turns and walks away.
That era has passed.
Nothing that belonged to it exists any more.
He remembers those vanished years.
As though looking through a dusty window pane,
the past is something he could see, but not touch.
And everything he sees is blurred and indistinct. "

With the first four lines the film begins and with the remaining lines the film closes and these lines give you the idea behind the story. The things you leave once can never return. In the Mood for Love dictates the arbitrary nature of romance and the notion of the ‘missed moment’.

Wong Kar-wai sets the mood of his story in such a way that it makes hard for you to escape. The façades, the closed corners, the narrow hallways, the Siemens time piece outside Su’s Office, the telephone lying dormant in the table, and the long lonely lanes in the midst of a rain expresses the repression, isolation and longing that the two protagonists have to face both internally and from the outside world. The time piece is always there to remind us of the time that is flying, lost forever. Similarly, the two unfortunate lovers fail to grasp both time, falls prey to the “missed moment” and moves on, but at what cost?? But who are we to decide. Wong Kar-wai has left the question opened. Anyone can choose it in the way they want to. The play rehearsals enacted by Chow and Su could make you laugh after you discover your mistake. It was glad to know that Su had His shoulder to cry upon, though temporarily. Those are a few of the moving shared moments of the jilted lovers.

I missed watching Chunking Express but am in no way going to miss “Fallen Angel”. It is supposedly the follow-up of the former. If we are to go by statistics, Wong Kar-wai is just eight films old. No wonder it’s his uniquely stylish filmmaking oeuvre and aesthetic film sense that has catapulted him among the most respected of directors of our time.

Forget everything—all these nonsense words that I have wasted. Simply watch the film (if you’ve not done that already). May be for some it wont be their type but for the rest of us, I can assure you that this Failed love story wont fail to make you realize the futility of coward love and the metaphor of cornered lights.

1 after-thought(s):

ShantanuDas said...

This is where you and Sujoy match... good critique of the movie.. -[-the first method ]-- even though I hv not seen.. i can comment on ur writing.