Lise’s review published on Letterboxd:
Stunning. Beautiful. Director Kar Wai Wong knows exactly what loneliness looks like. He knows exactly what it is like to be and to care about being proper in the eyes of others. And he knows how to tell a story with smoke and mirrors and double-entendres.
It is amazing that a simple story of two lonely neighbours who become friends when their respective spouses spend too much time away turns into an epic in Kar Wai Wong's hands. This director knows how to use all elements of cinema to show isolation and loneliness. The sparse sets, grey concrete outdoor walls in the rain, isolated light bulbs in the foreground of so many shots, bland cement staircases to a noodle shop, unusually framed long close-ups of emotionally scarred faces, all contribute to create one of the best depictions of loneliness ever captured on film.
And the colours. Goodness, what fabulous use of greys, deep reds and greens. The entire colour palette is there to set a mood for each scene. The man is a painter. The use of music is just as effective.
I look forward to rewatching this film, and I'm convinced that it will get better on each viewing. I'm quite certain that it has made it's way onto my top 10 list, but I will wait a few months before deciding. After that, rewatches may very well see it climb very near the top of that list.