Danny Webster’s review published on Letterboxd:
Director: Wong Kar-wai (Third film)
Imagine that In the Mood for Love is a box. A little red box. With silk ribbons and a dim spot light obscuring half of it from our view. Now imagine (that 2046 is the untying) you untie the silk ribbon and pull, slowly opening the box and out comes a flood of colour which contrasts the sharpness of reality - almost burgeoning the locked away emotions which you tried to lock away in that little red box. No matter what emotion you think you have locked away in that little red box, it will always be opened by yourself through the vicarious embodiment of another. Through name or through identical actions, or through the harrowing sensuality of another; memories of lust and longing and love are delayed even if they were never meant to be.
The fictional train journey mirrors the train journey of real-life; life always goes forward; there is no way around that, but going back is possible through memories. At first, I believed Gong Li to be a fractured memory; the image of Su Li-zhen remembered by a heartbroken Chow, but my misreadings only led to confusion; and then to fiction. Were these characters just characteristics of the Su Li-zhen we know from In the Mood for Love, the ideal perfection.
And now I realise that yet again, this is something I need to wait to fully comprehend at a level I'm comfortable with. For the record, Ziyi Zhang's intense and absolute performance blew me away. Absolutely left me speechless, absolutely resoundingly perfect. Also, Tony Leung is beautiful.