keli williams’s review published on Letterboxd:
Released in 1994 to critical acclaim, Chungking Express consists of two stories told in sequence, each about a love-struck Hong Kong police officer contemplating his relationship with a woman. The first half deals with Cop 223, a distressed and melancholic man, heartbroken about his girlfriend leaving him after five years. Purchasing tins of pineapple with an expiration date of May 1 each day for a month, he rekindles the relationship by the end of that time but soon decides it has expired forever – all while meeting a woman in a blonde wig who tries to survive after a smuggling operation turns upside down in the drug underworld. The second half shows Cop 663 managing a breakup with his flight attendant girlfriend, talking to his apartment furnishings as a coping mechanism that helps him through his daily tumult, only to catch the eye of new girl Faye at a local lunch counter at the Midnight Express bar who secretly falls in love with him; as he does with her.
It’s hard to find a film that instantly wraps you up in the solitude that revolves around the dissecting relationships Wong Kar-wai creates, and the exploration the filmmaker immerses around the absent, realistic and silent portrayal of love. Embarking on the loneliness that romance can cause, not only does Chungking Express establish the character’s reflection of self-doubt, but the subtle moments in a relationship that leave one in awe; the devotion that was transmitted from the start when fondness was first encountered. The film also builds on the act of ending a relationship and the isolation one can feel when getting over this loss. Such lingering is exemplified through one character’s fixation on cans of pineapples and their expiration dates, appointing them to recount their past affection. Focusing primarily on the acts of love and the underlying intentions of starting over, Chungking Express offers a stylish representation of passion and the overbearing question that lingers when the infatuation has gone: what becomes of the broken-hearted? READ FULL REVIEW HERE