Movies Like Fa Yeung Nin Wa (In the Mood for Love)

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Fa Yeung Nin Wa (In the Mood for Love) Reviews

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dietmountaindew
dietmountaindew

Super Reviewer

July 17, 2009
ok.
axadntpron
axadntpron

Super Reviewer

February 8, 2011
Possibly the most unique and finely crafted romances to ever grace the silver screen. Wong Kar Wai, known for his work capturing the intimate lives of those living in a densely-packed metropolis & capturing the beautifully-lit Hong Kong city-scapes with the help of cinematographer Christopher Doyle, soulfully indulges in exploring one of his favorite themes: unrequited love. Rather than just stressing the forlorn, Wai looks at a pair who share a common bond, but due to societal and self-inflicted restraints, must now eternally deal with the onerous question of "what could have been?"
In a city where secrets are seldom kept for long, Chow (Tony Leung) & Su's (Maggie Cheung) fates become intertwined as it is learned that their spouses are having an affair. Through their mutual grief & longing to understand, they evolve from consolers into pursuers. However, fearing the public's opinion on such a taboo tryst-coupled with their own fears of what they will become-they do not allow themselves to fully give in to their desires. Wai's skillful eye helps to augment the arresting power behind the lover's concerns.
Being so obsessed with gossip & fearful of becoming the object of scandal, Wai's framing and intrusive camera-work gives the sense that as an audience we are just as culpable as the neighbors for making judgements about how these people run their private lives. Rarely, do we see these characters from inside their personal space. Most of the time there is a blurred door-frame in the forefront of the picture or a slightly dirty window-pane separating us from their intimate moments. This visual motif is highly effective as one cannot help but feeling like a voyeur, projecting our morality on to them & using their personal lives as entertainment. We are among the countless eyes scrutinizing their every move, confirming their worst fears. A theme made all the more intriguing by Michael Galasso's beautifully moody score. While this would seem like enough material for an already great film, Wai subtly adds another dimension to the story by not only having this couple be the victim of public perception, but also by showing the agency by which they are molding their own future.
Upon hearing the news of their spouse's infidelity, Chow & Su begin to act out scenarios in which they pretend to be each others betrothed. In their own way, attempting to understand how relationships of this nature develop. Bizarre enough as the situation already sounds, they seem to begin living vicariously through these mock sensual exchanges. Experiencing the same thrill that their partners must have felt. Only unwilling to consummate the relationship for fear of having to relinquish the moral high ground.
After all, Wai shrewdly hints throughout the picture that their situation isn't completely thrust upon them. Their eyes are wondering ever so slightly & they are even seen changing direction when the other is near. Also, Su is constantly adorned with the latest fashion. (49 different dresses throughout the film to be exact). Causing one of her neighbors to off-handedly remark to another, "She dresses like that to go out for noodles?" It is buried more than the other themes in the film, but one that adds a curious complexity to the whole situation.
This film is a rare gem in a genre that I thought I had written-off completely. One that is not only thought-provoking & gorgeous to look at, but suffused with something I find missing in most romance pictures: sincerity.
Jan Marc M

Super Reviewer

September 10, 2011
In The Mood For Love is a Kar-Wai Wong delicate masterpiece of shared sorrow inflicted by distant and adulterous spouses. Elegance despite treachery. Stylized and sophisticated cinema artistry. Sultry soundtrack. Exquisite.
hunterjt13
hunterjt13

Super Reviewer

April 6, 2011
A man and a woman, each with distant spouses, form a friendship, burning with subtle romance, after they move in next to each other.
In My Blueberry Nights, the only other Kar Wai Wong film that I have seen, there were so many ridiculously placed montages and shots in which the camera drifts from the banal to the boring with nothing happening in between. There was a little of the same in In the Mood for Love, but I found the montages and slow camera movement more fitting with the film's attempt at subtle seductiveness. In the end, I don't think it works because such attempts at creating atmosphere instead of character simply don't fit my tastes, but at least his stylistic camerawork made more sense.
I think your overall reaction to this film depends on how invested you become with these characters. They don't let each other in, and consequently, I felt just as distanced from them. By the end of the film, I didn't think I knew these people well. But structurally and from a filmmaking point of view, there isn't much missing. And if a story about characters letting down their guard, which is a response to social pressures, isn't the story they want to tell, then it shouldn't be forced about them.
Overall, there are few other films that I think can be debated as vigorously as this one can. If you suggested it was sublime, I would have as little objection as I would to someone who suggested it was shit.
c0up
c0up

Super Reviewer

January 22, 2011
'In the mood for love'. Beautifully directed, but too many scenes felt cut short, to the point of frustration. I couldn't really connect, or care for both of the main characters either.
flixsterman
flixsterman

Super Reviewer

January 6, 2009
A study in restraint.

When neighbors discover that their respective spouses are having an affair they each seek solace in the other's company. What evolves is a love story that is methodic and unrequited.

Director Kar Wai Wong's style is entrancing, highlighted by a fantastic contemporary score.
FilmFanatik
FilmFanatik

Super Reviewer

January 4, 2010
A very beautiful and haunting film...and beautifully shot.
LorenzoVonMatterhorn
LorenzoVonMatterhorn

Super Reviewer

December 5, 2008
"Feel the heat, keep the feeling burning, let the sensation explode."

A man and a woman move in to neighboring Hong Kong apartments and form a bond when they both suspect their spouses of extra-marital activities.

REVIEW
Flawless. Criticism is pointless; critique is mandatory. In this rumination about love and the passage of time, Wong Kar-Wai presents himself as a perfect interpreter of film language and there are so many levels of analysis to choose from it's almost impossible to know where to begin. Everything onscreen and in the text is completely under Wong's control, from each exquisitely structured shot (his use of walls to frame narrow passageways is astonishing) to the graceful, perfectly placed tracking camera (the cinematography is by Christopher Doyle and Pin Bing Lee), from the subtle mix of neon and natural colors to the gorgeous costuming (by William Chang) intended to highlight so many moods and desires, from the straightforward storytelling to the ambiguities of movement and action (every nuance is open to interpretation and every interpretation has merit), from the soundtrack's use of a doleful string quartet to the tropical simplicity of Nat King Cole's Spanish crooning, and, finally, from the truly sublime performances of Maggie Cheung Man-yuk and Tony Leung Chiu Wai, playing neighbors whose spouses' affair unintentionally allow them to find a true but painful love to their wonderful supporting cast (particularly Ping Lam Siu, Rebecca Pan and Lai Chen). One of the crowning achievements in all of cinema, unforgettable and haunting.
Carlos M

Super Reviewer

October 22, 2009
The argument is interesting, but its (lack of) development renders it tedious and obvious, a sterile exercice of style that leads nowhere.
Anthony L

Super Reviewer

October 1, 2009
A beautiful film by Wong Kar Wai. Stylish, mesmerising and just plain stunning! An almost perfect film!
ebs90
ebs90

Super Reviewer

September 19, 2008
Kar Wai Wong's absolutely fantastic film In the Mood for Love takes place in Hong Kong in the 1960s. Mrs. Chan (Maggie Cheung) and Mr. Chow (Tony Leung Chiu Wai) live next door to each other in rented rooms. With their respective spouses. Both of them have office jobs in the city, while it seems that their spouses are often on business trips or working long shifts. Many cordial meetings take place between Mrs. Chan and Mr. Chow in the hallway, on the way to the noodle stall, etc.. Soon enough they begin to realize odd coincidences between what both their spouses wear, the amount of time they are away, and their secretiveness. It isn't long before they uncover a mystery they had sort of already solved: Mrs. Chan's husband and Mr. Chow's wife are having an affair. This reality is so harsh to them that they decide to turn to each other for any possible consollation, talking about it over dinner or sneaking into each other's rooms to analyze the situation and propose different scenarios of how the affair could have begun. With their spouses away most of the time and their incredulity too heavy to handle for each of them alone, they begin to meet more frequently and develop a friendship out of necessity.
Although they often talk about their spouses' infidelity and recreate what they might have done together, it seems as though Mr. Chow and Mrs. Chan manage to find a space in which their interest is each other, rather than the people they are married to. Once they realise that this growing intimacy might just make them into unfaithful spouses as well, they begin to draw a limit: it is that limit precisely, and the overwhelming desire that Mrs. Chan and Mr. Chow feel to cross it, that creates the emotional tension that In the Mood for Love is about. Two people who, because of convention, or out principle -they are both married, after all- repress their feelings of love for each other. Because, in time (time plays a very important role in the film), it's obvious that they feel love for each other, even if to different extents each. They sense danger when they stop using the other as a clutch.
As usual in Kar Wai Wong's films, the cinematography and the use of color is mind-blowing; everything is filmed with such lush care and romanticism that it was difficult to draw my eyes away from the screen. The director's trademark repetitive use of music is also present and works beautifully.
Of course, the film would probably not come together as wonderfully if it wasn't for the two stars: Maggie Cheung and Tony Leung. Cheung is elegance personified, and she plays the suffering yet optimistic Mrs. Chan with all the grace I've ever seen an actress deliver. Tony Leung is a great actor and his performance here is incredibly moving: Mr. Chow is helplessly in love but also helplessly wounded by his wife's infidelity: While Mrs. Chan will occasionally burst into tears when they talk about the affair, he must stay cool and collected because that's simply what he's supposed to do; the same applies to his painful longing for Mrs. Chan - it would seem absurd for anyone to suppress such overwhelming feelings, but what else can he do in a society where people lecture each other about morality, about "being proper", about "being respectable"?
So In the Mood for Love is both an exhilarating piece of romantic arthouse cinema and a frustrating play about loneliness and social pressure. The ending is somewhat ambiguous, but it's right. I didn't end up feeling sad or angry, but curious (and optimistic) about how much happier Mr. Chow and Mrs. Chan could have been, had they only lived in a more permissive culture. I wouldn't say Kar Wai Wong's film is a social commentary itself, but I believe it contains one.
It's always great to find a film like this, that appeals to both intellect and sentiment without comprimising either, that doesn't merely satisfy the audience but leaves something to the imagination. All in all, In the Mood for Love is an unforgettable film and one of the director's best, if not his greatest film ever.
BTW, the Criterion edition contains deleted scenes that might shed some light over some unresolved issues and satisfy some inconformities with the way things turned out, but I believe they were all removed from the final cut for good. The film is perfect as it is.
Alice S

Super Reviewer

October 24, 2008
Understatedly seductive. Beautiful cinematography, costumes, music, and lead actors. So much better than My Crappin' Blueberry Nights.
DragonEyeMorrison
DragonEyeMorrison

Super Reviewer

September 6, 2007
This film just doesn't do anything for me, same goes with every WKW film i have seen so far. It feels just so...cold, sterile, i never felt anything about the characters, and damn it, i'm talking about two of the best actors of the last two decades, Tony frigging Leung Chiu Wai and the gorgeous Maggie Cheung, who looks so stunning in her tight dress that i seriously would ask her to marry me if i ever met her (ill remember to wear running shoes just in case she has some nasty bodyguards with her).

Where i was? Oh yeah, this is like watching a postcard, beautiful colors and all that, but nothing to care about. I'm starting to think that Christopher Doyle should get credited as the director of this instead of WKW.
So, the idea is that feelings are such a complex thing that sometimes they doesn't have to be expressed and what not. Why bother doing a film about that then? If this is suppose to be the greatest love story ever told that means couples should never even kiss, hug, and that they should remain cold and silent towards each other? Again, that's why most romantic films fail to impress me, they are as convincing as a politician saying he cares about the people. Why can't anybody make a "romantic" movie where people actually behave like normal human beings? South Korea's "Oasis" tells a better love story, and that's one film featuring two mentaily disabled persons as the couple.
Jennifer X

Super Reviewer

September 27, 2007
Slow - no, very slow. Artistic, beautiful...and boring. The theme got on my nerves after a while because I'm pretty sure it's the same one in Finding Neverland. The chongsam are beautiful and the smoke is mesmerizing, but I felt really empty watching it...which I guess was kind of the point?
Michael S

Super Reviewer

February 28, 2007
A visual and emotional dazzler.
Tim S

Super Reviewer

July 12, 2007
The best part about this movie is that it is all about what could have happened.
Ken S

Super Reviewer

April 19, 2007
Possibly...just possibly the most beautiful film ever photographed.

A film of imense beauty and power.
Drew S

Super Reviewer

February 11, 2007
I am astonished with how disappointed I was with In the Mood for Love. It exhibits absolutely no personality at all - I think Tony Leung and Maggie Chung have maybe two smiles a piece through the entire film. All of the dialogue is to advance the plot, and the characters are paper thin with no distinguishing traits. The film may as well have been called "93 Minutes of Decent Cinematography and Maggie Cheung Looking Forlorn In Different Cheongsams." And don't get me started on the soundtrack, or at least the two songs played ad nauseam that they call a soundtrack. Expect to hear one specific song nine times throughout the movie, ten if you count the credits, eleven for the DVD menu.

There are frequent glimmers of potential here - the rehearsal scenes, the mysterious nature of the affairs, the retro atmosphere of the whole film, and Maggie Cheung's undeniable acting chops - but it all feels completely drowned in an insubstantial and poorly-edited plot.

For what it's worth, I think the movie is emphatically overrated, especially given its 8.0 average on IMDB (out of 12800 votes!) Too bad.
Sarah G

Super Reviewer

February 10, 2007
Just simply amazing. Right from the beginning of the film I was hooked and mesmerized by the cinematograhpy within every scene, just stunning. The soundtrack, for me was another great part in this film. Well, if only there were 6 stars but sadly there isn't.

Definatly a film i will watch again and one to go in my all time favourites list. Just amazing!
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