jack’s review published on Letterboxd:
Close your eyes and remember. Have you ever reflected on your life, perhaps remembering the moments you cherish? Maybe your instant memory is you as a child, perhaps a time where you and your family went out on a special outing or your childhood friends playing games until the nighttime. Maybe it's a recent memory; you've graduated college or maybe you're about to marry the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. Maybe you're about to add a new addition to the family or you're about to retire from a career. If you're anything like me however, your initial memory isn't a pleasant one. I can't think about the times I had as a child or the happiness I felt when experiencing the "joys" of life because --for me-- the broken memories outweigh the joyful ones and that's just the way it's going to be.
Wong Kar-wai is one of the very few filmmakers who seems to understand me and he's able to answer this question for me: I would go to a time where I made a huge decision or regretted something that shaped my future. I would go to a time where I missed a huge opportunity to do something big for myself or prevent some detrimental damage that was going to happen to me. In the Mood for Love has one of those moments; the splitting second decision that I missed, perhaps a chance at happiness or a chance at fulfillment. The film, stringing together fragments of time and memories, becomes a jumbled mind, placing together all those wasted chances and understanding what exactly went wrong. In the Mood for Love reflects on that life, that one second split decision that shaped the future and realizing the future that would've happened if he had just stayed one moment longer or she picked up the pace quicker. It's those memories and those lost chances that have shaped us. If we could replay those moments, plan them like we wanted, would we? Would you? Would I?