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Archive for July 16th, 2010

2046 (no 4)

by Allan Fish

(Hong Kong 2004 127m) DVD1/2

Heartbreak Hotel

p  Wong Kar-Wai  d/w  Wong Kar-Wai  ph  Christopher Doyle, Lai Yiu Fai, Kwan Pun Leung  ed  William Chang  m  Peer Raben, Shigeru Umebayashi  art  Alfred Yau

Tony Leung (Chow Mo-Wan), Gong Li (Su Lizhen No.2), Ziyi Zhang (Bai Ling), Carina Lau (Lulu/Mimi), Kimura Takuya (Tak), Faye Wong (Wang Jingwen), Chang Chen, Wang Sum (Mr Wang), Maggie Cheung (Su Lizhen No.1), Dong Jie (Wang Jie Wen),

When it first made an appearance at Cannes in 2004, Wong Kar-Wai’s romantic science fiction opus was greeted with disbelief by critics and audiences alike.  Many found it a disappointment, but Wong said all along it wasn’t really finished, and went back east to sort the finishing touches out.  All one can say is that the version we later got to see was a very different beast; a splendorous, aesthetically and emotionally rapturous experience to make true cineastes drool.  Some still accused it of shallowness, a criticism often – and unjustly – hurled at Wong from certain critical quarters.  Others accused it of continuity errors, but many of these can easily be explained away by the non-linear plot, which goes back and forth in time, and in and out of fictional realities, with incredible alacrity.

            Essentially the third part of the trilogy that began with Days of Being Wild and continued with In the Mood for Love, 2046 follows Leung’s Chow from Christmas Eve 1966, where he is moving between Singapore and Hong Kong and is still trying to get over the fatalistic romance he had a few years earlier (in the second film).  After a chance encounter with old girlfriend Lulu, he is reintroduced to room 2046 in a seedy hotel, the room number where he used to meet previous love Su Lizhen.  During his visits there, he meets other women, including young call girl Bai Ling, who becomes infatuated with him, the hotelier’s daughter Jingwen, who also has writing ambitions, while in Singapore he meets a professional gambler who it turns out is also called Su Lizhen.  And while all this is going on, he tries to finish a futuristic story about his experiences entitled ‘2047’. (more…)

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