Lise’s review published on Letterboxd:
March Around the World - 1st stop: Hong Kong
I was so scared of watching Happy Together.
It was the only Wong Kar-wai film I had not seen.
If I watched it then potentially Wong Kar-wai could never surprise me again.
But my husband swore to me that he was working on another picture. IMDB said so. Google it and get more sources, I said. Make sure he's really working on it. Concretely. And what if he doesn't finish it? What if he loses the funding or, you know, worse? We should wait until the other one is in the bag.
Jonathan promised to buy me the entire Criterion Collection if anything happened, could we please just go downstairs and watch the movie now?
I knew it would be about love, about a relationship. I just didn't know which story he was going to tell.
Was he going to focus on the flirting and the beginning like in Days of Being Wild? Or the longing that was captured so perfectly in In the Mood for Love? Maybe he was going to focus on unrequited love as in 2046? Or something entirely different, fingers crossed?
The title says it all.
Two men can't stand being together and can't stand being apart.
The yoyo relationship is taking its toll.
Is it because they are in a foreign country?
Traveling makes us lighter. Less prone to nesting. Less attractive to roots.
Is it because they've been together for a period of time?
Time makes us impatient. Familiar. Still.
A bit of both? The consequences of time and the expectations of traveling might not cohabitate so well.
They are Happy Together, moments at a time. Just moments.
Is that all there is?
Maybe that is better than the unrequited love of 2046.
Maybe it is more than the love than cannot be of In the Mood for Love.
Or given their chronology, maybe Wong kar-wai is mapping the road, showing the progression: flirtation, moments, love, heartbreak. (Days of Being Wild, Happy Together, In the Mood for Love, 2046)