Ahmed Aiman’s review published on Letterboxd:
Thank god I postponed watching this movie until I am in the right..... mood! ♥♥♥♥
I always wandered how a WKW film would be, if it was less focused on atmosphere, and more concerned about its narrative. And In the Mood for Love is definitely this movie. The plot of this movie is more cohesive than of the other Wong Kar-wai films.
The rest of his films don't have a conventional plot, but rather disjointed beautiful and hypnotic sequences that allow emotions to flow through them. This is not the case here. In the Mood for Love still doesn't have a linear narrative in the traditional way, I mean it's still a WKW film, but the movie has a more contained narrative to say the least.
Unfortunately, the movie didn't hit me emotionally as much as it should. Don't get me wrong, I was moved by the movie even more than every WKW I've watched so far, with the exception of Chungking Express. The issues I had with Days of Being Wild and Fallen Angels are what kept me from being fully emotionally engaged, but as for In the Mood for Love, it's the over-control upon the movie's story that deprived me from being entirely connected emotionally. It may sounds strange, but that's what I felt, and in all probability that's what many people also feel if they have been already familiar with Wong Kar-wai style.
I don't want to seem as if I'm just creating problems, or make some flaws up out of no where, but I felt that some emotions and feelings passed quickly without hitting me hard.
On the other hand, having control on the narrative aspect of the movie, Wong Kar-wai's poetic visual style became more mature. You can easily identify his trademarks, which the movie is full of them; playing with the time, using elliptical editing, and repeating songs, but they are utilized in a more beneficial and purposeful way, hence more delicate and exquisite way.
Even the beauty of the cinematography is different from those of Wong Kar-wai's other works. Here the beauty comes from the sumptuous colour palette more than anything else. In the Mood for Love is unquestionably one of the best movies in cinematic history in terms of using colours. The colours here set the mood, and keep enriching it throughout the film's fleeting runtime.
However, the characters of this movie along with the performances are the real pleasure I got from. All the subtlety of the characters are brought out by a magnificent cast. Tony Leung Chiu-Wai is quite possibly one of the most talented actors ever. His performance is simply ingenious. Maggie Cheung is equally terrific, if equally, perhaps marginally inferior in comparison Leung, but it's her character that astonished me. Unlike Days of Being Wild's Su Li-Zhen, this character her is jaw-droppingly multi-layered. And the way the brilliant script delves into her is just mind-blowing. Every time Leung's character, Chow, shares the screen with her unravels a new layer in her character, while showcases the talents of the two lead, especially Leung's unique gift.
The masterful combination of the ingenious symbolism of Wong Kar-wai, and the movie's sprawling and elaborate narrative is what makes In the Mood for Love stands out, either from Wong Kar-wai's oeuvre, or from the Romance genre. In the Mood for Love is undoubtedly worthy of being hailed as Wong Kar-wai's masterpiece, but Chungking Express is still my favorite among WKW's cinematic gems.