In the Mood for Love begins with these lines, foretelling a sad ending to a troubling love story.
“It is a restless moment.
She has kept her head lowered, to give him a chance to come closer.
But he could not, for lack of courage.
She turns, and walks away…”
Hong Kong, in 1962, two couples moved into a Shanghai resettlement area. These are the family of Mr. Chow Mo-wan (Tony Leung), who works as a reporter and has a wife who regularly works overtime or is away from home, and the family of Mrs. Chan – Su Li-zhen (Maggie Cheung ), working as a letter signed for a shipping company and her husband also travels often on business trips. They are all quiet people, rarely talk to or interfere in the neighbors’ lives. Ms. Chan has a beautiful handbag, this is a foreign product, not sold domestically, the wife of the Chu family next door also has an identical one. Chow Mo-wan was given a tie by his wife, also a foreign product. Madame Tran discovered that her husband often wore the same one. These things caused Chow Mo-wan and Su Li-zhen to keep thinking, they clearly knew the truth from the start, but didn’t have the courage to face it. Then the accidental encounters, the times going the same way, betrayed pain and loneliness have slowly drawn the two together.
Initially, there were shy social greetings, then the intimacy of the neighbors, occasionally borrowing each other a few items, then the meetings to reveal about their husbands and wives cheating. and finally, the endearing love wants to progress, but it is not good to give up.
Mood When Love does not have any dramatic or climactic details, even the characters’ lines are very few. However, what makes Mood When Loving Asia’s cinematic masterpiece is that the film honors Eastern cultural values by building a romance, both of the main characters fall in love. each other close but never go beyond the limit. They love each other but need not say it, nor have a kiss or sex scene. The relationship between Su Li-zhen and Chow Mo-wan is not just a love between a boy and a girl, much less a love affair like their husband and wife are sneaky. They are also mutual friends, a support for the opponent to hold on while being lonely. They miss, worry about each other when they cannot meet, share their passion for swordplay, inspire them to write, stand together to stay in the rain, but one person has to make a wet sacrifice to bring an umbrella. let the other person go home because they are afraid of the neighbors being agitated, so that in the end, they cannot get together but only keep those feelings for the rest of their life.
Love is definitely a great challenge for many actors. But with the talented acting of Luong Trieu Vy and Truong Man Ngoc, the roles of Chow Mo-wan and Su Li-zhen have never been so honest, beautiful and sad. No need for a lot of lines, no intense conflicts or arguments, just looking up from the slanted eyes that are bold Asian, fast blinking lashes and a little lost voice of Truong Man Ngoc are enough to make the audience flinch. . Viewers can also feel her broken heart through her graceful, elegant yet lonely gait, through motionless sitting posture, or the flutter and confusion every time her hand gently touches on the stair bay. .
Luong Trieu Vy with a leisurely manner, sad eyes, sometimes staring down at Truong Man Ngoc gently, showed excellent image of a polite but lonely Chow Mo-wan, heartbroken by his wife is adulterous and helpless because she cannot reach the person she loves. Chow Mo-wan’s sadness is also expressed through his working in the office under the smoke of smoke, his quiet walk to Angkor Watt, his solitary posture and his mouth shaking as he whispered secrets with the hole. on the old wall.
In a scene between Chow Mo-wan and his friend Ah Ping, Chow Mo-wan asked:
“In the old days, if anyone had a secret that they didn’t want to share with others, do you know what they would do?”
A Binh replied: “How do I know?”
Chow Mo-wan said: “They will climb to the top of the mountain, find a tree, cut a hole in the tree trunk, and then whisper their secret into the hole. Then they filled the hole with mud. So the secret will be that tree forever, no one will ever know. ”
That is how Chow Mo-wan works to conceal his secrets and feelings for Su Li-zhen. After so many years, as a middle-aged man, he dived to Angkor Watt, whispered a hole in the old, crumbling wall, then sealed with mud. The love that Chow Mo-wan and Su Li-zhen have for each other, is the love that “lives to live, die with you”. To the end of life.
Mood when in love has a Chinese name, Flowery Years, which means that the years of joy are passing like petals. Like the way the movie ends with words filled with nostalgia and regret, perhaps when Chow Mo-wan is old, making viewers remember old memories, but beautiful:
“He remembers those past days,
It was like looking through a dusty-covered window frame.
The past was something that he could see, but could not touch.
And everything he saw was just blurred and unclear. ”
Sadness was soaked like cigarette smoke on Chow’s desk, while the two of them wrote a long life story together in the newspaper, in the rain, in narrow corridors, on narrow stairs, everywhere was full of sadness. love and loneliness. As if that space is so enclosed and isolated that even if you scream with all your strength, it is impossible to escape the laughter of the host, out of the narrow staircase, from the shadow of the two kisses. . Loneliness is thick and enveloping in every sentence it makes everything ambiguous and weak. And in such a movie space, the music of Nat King Cole kept playing throughout the film spread like smoke, creeping into every corner, every depth. The voice and music of Nat King Cole is the “mood” of the film, which is the soul of the film.
The mood that even though there is very little dialogue, even though the short scenes and cutscenes are a lot, everyone who has watched them understand and are bitter. The bitterness like seeing the charmingly sad, painful, sad as if we sometimes encounter us sometime is this mood, the heart of the film, of the voice of Nat King. Cole, Wong Kar-wai’s minimalistic voice. Forever sadness is the eternal beauty of life, but to bring sadness bearing in a certain mood of emotion, only Vuong surname. He brought sadness from deep to the surface and performed it for more than 90 minutes from Hong Kong movie stars Luong Trieu Vy and Truong Man Ngoc. The sadness that if Vuong knew how to express in cinematic language, Murakami expressed in literary language, the sadness that anyone could see was his own.
The setting, camera angle, light, and color were shown so well by Wong Kar-wai and cinematographer Christopher Doyle that, each frame seemed to speak for the character, each frame was a hidden line of sadness and loneliness. Every frame when we stop it, we get a beautiful, haunting, and very erotic image. together with Happy Together, and Chungking Express, Wang’s In the mood for Love has created an impressive trilogy of love, a love that no one can avoid, the love that comes when it comes to evil. Any heart, it also brings extreme happiness and extreme suffering. Humans, without love, perhaps it is difficult to understand what happiness is, it will be difficult to feel the extreme pain, as if, this life has no meaning in life anymore.
If cinema is a thing to keep memories, then the Mood when in Love will surely reign at the highest peak of this art form.