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Chungking Express (1994)


Plot: The story of Chungking Express is split into two stories, both based on two very different police officers.

Officer 223 (Takashi Kaneshiro) is a plain clothed cop who patrols the around Chungking Mansions, a drug-filled, rundown hostel populated by Indians, amongst other foreigners. He spends most of his time moping over the loss of his girlfriend, May. His method for getting over his worries is to jog. One night in a bar he comes to a decision to try and get over his lost love and decides to peruse the next woman that walks into the bar. Meets a blonde-haired Chinese woman (Brigitte Lin), although this woman has a couple of skeletons in her closet.

Officer 663 (Tony Leung) is a street cop, he spends his evenings patrolling the streets around the Chungking Mansion and for his evening break he always stops into the Midnight Express Deli. Where he’s served by a shy young woman called Faye (Faye Wong), Faye has a crush on the cop, but she’s to shy to do anything about it. After receiving a letter from his ex-girlfriend – an air hostess (Valerie Chow), Faye opens it and discovers that the hostess is returning her key to his flat. Faye begins to secretly sneaking into his apartment, changing all the little details to it, subtly adding her own touch. When arriving at 663’s flat one day she opens the front door to be met by 663…

Review: Wong Kar-Wai delivers a neon and blurry point of view of the famous Chungking Mansions in this 1994 hit. The film has a strong cast, Takashi Kaneshiro is reliable, Tony Leung is sensible, Brigitte Lin is experience and Faye Wong is a lovely fresh choice of cast.

Wong Kar-Wai surprisingly managed to shoot this film in 23 days, whereas nowadays he has gained the reputation of spending years, upon years working on films, constantly changing the script, re-shooting scenes, taking out sub-plots and adding sub-plots. Most recently people joked that his In the Mood for Love sequel – 2046 was actually expected to finished for 2046.

Many people rate this film highly, I enjoyed the film, but I didn’t feel it was a ‘masterpiece’, I just thought of it as a subtle, yet enjoyable. The cast were great, the film style was mesmerizing in a neon nightlife style and it has some lovely light hearted moments, most of them include Faye Wong hiding around Tony Leung’s apartment.

Final thought, saying this movie doesn’t deserve the title it has is a little mean, but it’s still a good movie. Enjoy!

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