Ethan’s review published on Letterboxd:
Set in Hong Kong in 1962, Wong Kar-wai’s magnum opus, In the Mood for Love, patiently paints the relationship between two neighbors, Mr. Chow and Mrs. Chan, who accidentally discover their spouses are having an affair with each other.
Seeking to understand how the affair began, Mr. Chow and Mrs. Chan try to reenact their spouses' initial courtship by pretending to be the other's spouse, the process through which they gradually begin to develop feelings for each other. There is a somewhat masochistic perversion to this facade in that Mr. Chow and Mrs. Chan can only express and justify their affection under these false pretences. They are prohibited from consummating their relationship not only due to the fear of ridicule and humiliation by society, but also the moral corruption of committing their spouses' wrongs.
Beautiful and devastating in equal measure, In the Mood for Love is an achingly lush and languid melodrama that delicately threads loneliness, unfulfilled desire, and the disquieting tension between personal morals and unbridled attraction.