Wesley R. Ball’s review published on Letterboxd:
Wong Kar-Wai's romantic masterpiece In the Mood for Love is a perfect depiction of coping in the most unexpected of circumstances. Using a perfect blend of gorgeous color palettes and low-shutter cinematography, we become privy to the other side of the affair- the victims. Through a series of theoretical replications of the series of events that most likely occurred between the two parties, we are shown a hauntingly beautiful portrait of mental coping in a web of lies and deceit.
The soundtrack is astoundingly profound in its captivation of the elegance the story and two protagonists uphold. The score consists exclusively of string instruments, preserving a sense of restraint that is kept throughout the story. We feel like there should be some form of payback or revenge that the characters perform (i.e. sex), and yet, they realize that they are better than that. To reciprocate their spouses' transgressions with the same demeaning acts would make them just as despicable. (There is actually a deleted scene on the Criterion blu-ray that I detest because it destroys this very base principle that the film runs on.) The preservation of civility in a time of uncertain betrayal is what drives Wong Kar-Wai's haunting masterwork, and makes it one of the most beautifully tragic romance stories ever told.
Gorgeous, elegant, and altogether haunting, In the Mood for Love is an astounding masterpiece of perfection and civility. Wong Kar-Wai depicts an artistic portrayal of a budding romance hindered by the fear of hypocrisy. He rightfully allows his characters to maintain a strictly platonic and professional relationship while facing suspicion and adversity. It's a gorgeous depiction of finding solace in the company of others in the face of heartbreak and betrayal.