In the Mood for Love ★★★½

Criterion Task 2019: 16/100
Criterion Spine: #147

I'll probably need to watch In the Mood for Love again. I definitely had a bit too much going on in my brain when I hit play, and In the Mood for Love is a film that you need to remain engaged with because if you zone out for a bit (get lost in your thoughts, check your phone, whatever) you will snap back to the film--probably mid-dialogue--and wonder, "What in the heck is going on?"

But in a lot of ways, I suspect whatever snippets of dialogue I missed don't even matter. In the Mood for Love is a film that says more the less is going on. Long, slow shots as the musical theme somberly trills in the background. Blank expressions that shy away from revealing anything. Careful movements just so. This is a film to be felt: Isolation, routine, and, yes, glimmers of hope in the form of companionship.

The plot finds two neighbors drawn together--at first by circumstance, then comradery, then by the shared realization that their respective spouses are cheating on them (with each other)--and the love that develops between them.

They are simple scenes--often understated--and splashed with a 1960s color palette and shot with some gorgeously composed shots. The regular use of slo-mo gives a dreamy, detached tone that compliments the aesthetic. The score repeats itself regularly, cementing the bleak Sisyphean drudge of their lives.

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