In the Mood for Love ★★★★★

A film that, by all accounts, cannot be retold in another medium. The camera spies on Chow Mo-Wan and Su Li-Zhen, lurking down passageways, through windows, in doorways, as they try to find some semblance of comfort with each other in a crowded city that is becoming increasingly lonesome for them. The music used by Wong Kar-wai provokes a reaction from us at almost every turn. From the brilliant, melancholic Yumeji's Theme to the familiar crooning of Nat King Cole, the film has a soundtrack for the ages. The two lead performances have chemistry to spare. Tony Leung and Maggie Cheung play perfectly off of each other in two of the best performances I've ever seen. As for their cheating spouses, we never see them. We don't need to. This is all about the impact that their infidelity has caused. Not once did the film come close to being melodramatic, and that's what makes it so exquisite. The restrained pacing, the deliberately small scope of the plot and the intimate setting make us connect with the two leads in a hurry. We don't even know when we start to care about their fate and yearn for them to stay together. Feelings can creep up just like that. Poetry in motion.

He remembers those vanished years. As though looking through a dusty window pane, the past is something he could see, but not touch. And everything he sees is blurred and indistinct.

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