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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Chungking Express

Wong Kar-Wai's breakthrough film Chungking Express, a romantic drama, was a revelation at a time when Hong Kong cinema was ruled by Heroic Bloodshed and martial arts flicks.
The film consists of two stories, which are told consecutively, about police men who are struggling with recent heartbreak but are also finding new objects of affection.
The first story stars Takeshi Kaneshiro as a cop who spends a night with a drug smuggler in a hotel room whilst the second one stars Tony Leung as a policeman who falls for a woman who works in a fast food stall.
The film is more preoccupied with mood than narrative and revolves around the paradox between the bustling metropolis and the lonely lives of its inhabitants.
Shot in a stunningly melancholic fashion and highlighting the neon-lit atmosphere of night time Hong Kong, cinematographer Christopher Doyle outdoes himself here and manages to compliment Kar-Wai's themes perfectly.
Hong Kong cinema at its oblique and atmospheric best, Chungking Express is a timeless masterpiece and comes recommended to all who prefer form and mood over strict narrative.