2046 ★★★★

I didn't know too much about 2046 going into it, and therefore didn't realize that it's a literal sequel to In the Mood for Love rather than just a spiritual one. Had I known this, I probably would have gotten around to my re-watch of Wong Kar-Wai's apparent magnum opus before watching this follow-up, as it perhaps would have enhanced the viewing experience here.

Regardless, 2046 still works beautifully on its own as the kind of elegant love story that Wong's career has largely been built on. It's not so much about the subtle passion of its predecessor as it is the more desperate longing and loneliness of some of Wong's earlier films. This isn't a love story in the traditional sense; it's the far more melancholy tale of someone struggling to fall in love again after losing that one special bond. Told through the invigorating fusion of the life of a sci-fi writer and the wonderfully-rendered fictitious world he creates, 2046 doesn't just present to us a yearning for intimacy in painstaking detail, but how such frustration is reflected in one's art. It all adds up to a visually stimulating, charmingly seductive, and utterly heartbreaking tale of romantic woe that could only come from a filmmaker who has mastered this kind of tale.

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