lucan’s review published on Letterboxd:
The telephone rings - but nobody is there.
Brief intimacy on the stairwell, damp memories in the alley. Christopher Doyle spies on the introverts through his camera lens and Shigeru Umebayashi embraces the idea that life can sometimes feel like a dream - maybe even a nightmare - with his beautiful and soul-bending score...
...but it is Wong Kar-wai who screws your heart up into a ball and throws it into the bin, and leaves it for you to determine whether someone will come along and remove it or whether they will walk past like it's just another ordinary bin in the center of a crowded city.
"What a coincidence!"
Coincidences treated not as coincidences at all, but as just another every-day occurrence - but not in their heads. no. It picks at their minds, which then upsets the soul. Wong Kar-wai's sensation of romance is not just about romance, and this range of topics is what makes the film truly special. It's about the missed opportunities in life, it's about the loneliness of life, and it's about how people around you can trap you and begin betrayal at the snap of a finger.
It's fathomless, and it's dark red.
Despite being an incredible attraction between two people, the movie is also very independent. It keeps its thoughts to itself, and it is just letting people out there who feel the same that it's amazing to be independent - - but it also warns you not to take it too far because you could greet loneliness on the other side. After all, it is only a wall that separates the two. Independence and Loneliness are neighbors that are slowly falling in love with one another, and once they finally kiss, you are forcefully struck and are passed on to loneliness like a virus...and he doesn't like it when he has a cold.
This is a movie to whisper your secrets to on a cold, lonely night. Seal them off, and then leave - your secrets are safe with In the Mood for Love.