Nicolò Grasso’s review published on Letterboxd:
Original Title: 2046
Year of Release: 2004
Genres: Drama; Romance; Sci-Fi
Director: Wong Kar-wai
Writer: Wong Kar-wai
Main Cast: Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, Zhang Ziyi, Faye Wong, Takuya Kimura, Gong Li, Carina Lau, Siu Ping-Lam, Maggie Cheung
Living in the past is a dangerous thing. Reliving certain events and longing for how things used to be is like a drug, feeling very pleasant at first, but ultimately leading to a downward spiral that is hard to escape. Was life ever that good? Is memory inherently flawed and unreliable? Moving on is no easy task, and even the smallest thing, like a room number, can trigger memories you thought were behind you.
2046 is Wong Kar-wai's sequel to In the Mood for Love, one of my all-time favorite film (hard-placed in my top 20 for sure). Going into this, I was really hoping that I would feel even half as excited as I did watching my first Kar-wai film back in 2017. The film is purposefully quite different in tone: as much as the previous film was subdued in its emotions and sexual tension, this one is much more erotic and sexy.
Mr Chow has become a disillusioned man, a womanizer who is seemingly stuck in an endless loop of delusion and shallowness. Seeing him like this was kind of a shock at first, but it ultimately makes sense: after the immense heartbreak and restraint that he has shown previously, it follows that he would become the man that he is now.
2046 is a beautiful film, and in some ways even sadder than In the Mood, from its atmospheric lighting, use of red, green, and blue, and nostalgic trip in the past that brings back more hurt than joy. Wong Kar-wai manages to bring those emotions to the foray in powerfully delicate ways, and how the real-life story and characters blend with the sci-fi novel Chow is writing is truly brilliant stuff. Lovely music, terrific performances, and an underlying sadness that only truly powerful cinema can deliver.
Visual Effects: 7
Violence & Gore: 1
Sex & Nudity: 5
Drugs & Profanity: 1
Intensity & Horror: 2