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In the Mood for Love (2000)

Hong Kong, 1962. Chan Li-Zhen (Maggie Cheung) is a secretary whose married, her husband is a businessman who spends most, if not all of his time going on business trips to Japan. Chan moves into a spare room of a rather cramp tenement building. She is then introduced to Chow Mo-Wan (Tony Leung).

Chow, a married man has just moved into the a spare room in the flat next door to Chan, his wife is also dedicated to her job and is never around when Chow’s around.

Over the course of four years the relationship between these two neighbors go from exchanging glances in the streets to secretly staying over in each others rooms and going away to hotels to be in each others company with having to sneak around.

Review: In the Mood for Love is probably the most well known movie ever directed by Wong Kar-Wai. For me it’s the first movie that pop’s into my head when ever I hear his name. The movie has won tons of awards and it displayed the immaculate acting skills of Tony Leung and Maggie Cheung.

The film showed the more serious side from both Leung and Cheung, they both give these subtle and entrancing looks through the film, the sets, the costumes, lighting and music, everything played it’s part in the movie perfectly. The littlest things in the movie are the best things in this movie, the way the smoke from Tony Leung’s cigarette flows against backdrop almost looks as if it was paint covering a canvas. The scenes where Maggie Cheung walking in these elegant dresses with carrying the pot of noodles exchanging glances with Tony are so subtle but you can tell how much the relationship between them has progressed.

The soundtrack to the movie I also find is very entrancing and hypnotic, the sounds of the Yumeji’s Theme preformed by the famous Japanese composer Shigeru Umebayashi (who today is still composing for films like Curse of the Golden Flower & Fearless). Evening the souving voice of the late Nat ‘The King’ Cole singing through out the movie is a comfort.

There wasn’t really any notable apperances in this movie, well to me there wasn’t, although when I lay on the couch watching through the ending credits (too lazy to turn the dvd player off) I was suprised to notice that regular Triad actor Roy Cheung provided the voice of Maggie Cheung’s husband in the movie.

Final thoughts, a real majestic piece of cinema. Enjoy!

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The Podcast On Fire Network aims to provide a large, continually expanding overview of Asian cinema. On the flagshow Podcast On Fire, the big guns out of Hong Kong cinema gets a spotlight through discussion and review while the remainder of the network shows gives you insight into Japanese, Korean, Taiwanese cinema and the history of adult oriented Hong Kong cinema!

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