Joined: 14 Oct 2002
|Posted: Mon Dec 13, 2004 9:02 pm Post subject: 2046
|Just to save some people a few minutes of their life - if you aren't into 'arty' films, it's a safe bet you won't like this. In fact, even if you are, there's a good chance you won't like this - Wong Kar Wai's movies pretty much define arthouse cinema for me. I've only met one other person who likes Wong Kar Wai movies - (James on the board).
2046 is a sequel (sort of) to In The Mood for Love, following on the story of the male protagonist's from that film story (played by acting god Tony Leung, who reprises his role in 2046). Whilst In the Mood For Love was possibly one of Wong Kar Wai's most accessible films, in that its story unfolded in an easy to follow manner, 2046 is probably his most fragmented (that I've seen at least). ITMFL was the most widely seen of Kar Wai's movies, I suspect because the theme of 'forbidden/unattainable love' was one many people found appealing or could relate to. I have a feeling that all the new fans he gained because of that film may be immediately turned off him again, although I hope not.
Mr. Chow (Tony Leung) charms the ladies...
The 2046 of the title, refers to the room number of the apartment block in which Mr. Chow (The Film's main character) stays during the year of 1966. He specifically asks for that number - for reasons that will be apparent if you have seen ITMFL (which is probably worth seeing first in any case as there are many references to the first film, and you may not understand Mr. Chow's actions fully without seeing firsthand what he underwent in ITMFL).
Bai Ling (Zhang Ziyi). she has one of the bigger supporting roles, as Mr. Chow's neighbour and initially resisting lover.
Mr. Chow is a writer, and 2046 also refers to a place in one of his stories. Set in the future, 2046 is a place people go to forget, where nothing changes, and can only be reached by an unfathomably long train journey. The two stories run in parallel throughout the film, exposing different aspects of Mr. Chow. In 1966, his memories of the women who have passed though his life spill onto the screen. In 2046 he imagines himself on the train, the same women now android hostesses of the train.
Wang Jing Wen (played by the deliciously bonkers Faye Wong) On the left, in 2046 as a broken down android with delayed reaction -
Kiss her, and ten hours later she feels it. On the right, in 1966 as the daughter of Mr. Chow's landlord.
Going mad because she is in love with a Japanese man and her father does not approve.
Possibly the one person Mr. Chow really falls in love with (He's hopeless!).
I must say, it's great to see Faye Wong and Tony Leung together on screen -
their story in Chungking Express is possibly my favourite slice of WKW ...California dreamin'...
It's hard to say more - If you are a long time WKW fan, then I'm sure you'll love it (and can you please join this board so I won't be so lonely!!) As ever, it looks sumptuous, I love the way everything seems filmed peeking round a corner - leaving you feeling slightly voyeuristic, a little bit like watching someone else's old cine movies. Also of note is the music which as with ITMFL is beautiful in its sadness, much like the film as a whole.
Su Li Zhen (Gong Li) on the left in 66, and the right in 2046. By coincidence, she shares the name of Mr. Chow's lover from ITMFL. She mysteriously covers one hand in a black glove,
a card playing master with a troubled past.
It's pretty predictable of me to say it in regard to this type of film - but it's best just experienced. Watch it well into the night, after you would normally sleep, get a few beers and let it wash over you (the film, not the beer )
On a tech note, I got some really naff Chinese edition (I think it may be the dangdang release) with non-anamorphic picture, burnt in Chinese subtitles (only some of the time though) and some kind of floating logo moving over it every now and then - I'm pretty sure they used some Cannes promo DVD to convert it Oddly, it didn't really detract from the experience of the film - ITMFL UK release is probably the only good DVD release of any WKW film, they all have atrocious DVDs, but somehow it doesn't seem to matter! If you want to source a copy, I have heard the Mei-Ah release ares pretty good (yesasia.com seem to be well stocked)
The official website can be found here, although it's a bit abstract too