Saturday, September 23, 2006


Sonia and I watched 2046 last night, which is Kar Wai Wong's follow-up film (I restrain from calling it a sequel) to the excellent In the Mood for Love. Despite being as beautiful as its predecessor, 2046 is an altogether more restless movie, and one that does not hold together anywhere near as well. But maybe this is the point. In 2046 we rejoin our protagonist Chow Mo Wan, but following his failed affair with the Su Lizhen of the first film, he is no longer the likeable character we knew, but one that passes from love affair to love affair totally unable to rekindle his previous feelings of devotion. Seemingly to help process his own thoughts on the situation, he begins to write a futuristic novel called 2046, in which people in love desperately try to get aboard a train that goes to a place called 2046 (the name coming from the hotel room in the first film) where their love can live on. As would be expected, no one usually comes back. But in the novel, the protagonist does, and it becomes apparent that this is because he went to re-find his previous love, but "YOU CAN NEVER GO BACK" etc. Add to this a steady flow of metaphors involving the sorrowful/happy/delayed reactioned androids that work on the train and you have a premise that becomes too silly to hold the entire thing together; I wouldn't have been surprised if a monolith would have appeared towards the end. Positive reviews on the web make much of the futuristic scenes serving as an "end-of-era" statement. I for one hope that it indeed ends this silly era and we return to the high standards of In the Mood for Love.


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