Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

23 August 2005

Twenty Forty-six

'Cause I I I I I never never never never never never never never never never never loved somebody the way that I loved you.

Tonight I saw Wong Kar-Wai's film 2046, which is a follow up to my favorite of his films: In the Mood for Love. Both star the beguiling Tony Leung Chui Wai, with whom I might be in love were it not for my devotion to Japanese actor Takeshi Kaneshiro. At any rate, 2046 is, to my mind a bit of a failure for Wong. I don't want to be super critical, but I know that as I watched it, having highly anticipated the film for months, I found myself a little bored. The performances are all top-notch, my favorite being a manipulative and then painful turn by the fabulous Chinese actress Li Gong, and the most showy being a strong, moving portrayal by Zhang Ziyi, an actress to whom I haven't totally warmed, but who gives a really stand-out performance in this film.
The movie itself, though, gets bogged down in a (quite lengthy) fantasy sequence about an android/girl (Faye Wong, who I also love) who doesn't feel completely important to the story, and so strays from the important relationships in the story: those with Gong Li and Zhang Ziyi. The android sequences are so long, that the ending only half-works and instead feels rushed and poetically incomplete. Another problem is that the film doesn't have a uniform look like Wong's films usually have. The film feels disjointed and even episodic at times... even more so than, say, Chung King Express, a film with two completely unrelated stories.

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