In the Mood for Love- A Romance Masterpiece

“In the Mood for Love” (2000) has often been considered as one of the greatest romantic films of all times. Directed by Wong Kar-wai, In the Mood for Love is inspired by Hong Kong writer Liu Yichang’s modernist novella, “Intersection”. The film tells the story of Chow Mo-wan (played by Tony Leung) and Su Li-zhen (played by Maggie Cheung) who moves into neighboring apartments in the heart of Hong -Kong. The film is a wonderful chronicle of the love-trodden journey of Mrs Chan and Mr Chow who are trapped in their respective loveless marriages. As the story progresses, they find out that their respective spouses are having an affair with each other. While going through heartbreak, both Chow and Su develop an intimacy which gradually turns into love.

The movie is made with the sheer brilliance of opulent visuals and cinematography. From beginning to end, the scenes are filled with deep colors like reds, yellows, browns, and shadows and patterns. Following the film noir style, the scenes where the two lovers are present are illuminated with bright red colors. There are silent moments filling the scenes with hesitations and unexpressed desires. The passion of the duo is further saturated with Shigeru Umebayashi’s heart-ripping composition filling the atmosphere with sense of despair and desolation.

The filmmaker leaves the other couple intentionally off the screen creating more space for the two lovers. There are multiple sequences where Chow and Su enact imaginary scenes between their estranged spouses. Such scenes imply that their hearts are engrossed on experiencing the art of falling in love rather than seeking revenge.

Though there’s a deep longing instilled in their hearts, the two lovers are restricting themselves within the limits of a platonic love. “For us to do the same thing would mean we are no better than they are,” Su says and Chow agrees.

In the Mood for Love is rare in its theme and approach to a romantic movie that tells us so much about love by showing so little. Leung and Cheung did phenomenal job in portraying every emotions and feelings of these two characters making them raw and vulnerable. What makes this movie so exceptional is the representation of love itself- how love lingers in our hearts, how it makes us miserable, how it comes in the most unforeseen way in the most unexpected moment.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *