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  • Happy Together [VHS] [1998]
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Happy Together [VHS] [1998]

21 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Leslie Cheung, Tony Chiu Wai Leung, Chen Chang, Gregory Dayton, Shirley Kwan
  • Directors: Kar Wai Wong
  • Writers: Kar Wai Wong
  • Producers: Kar Wai Wong, Ye-cheng Chan
  • Language: English
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Artificial Eye
  • VHS Release Date: 12 Oct. 1998
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004CX3C
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 317,216 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Gay lovers Ho (Leslie Cheung) and Lai (Tony Leung) are en route to tourist spot Iguaza Falls in Argentina when they have a falling out. Ho walks out on Lai, who finds work in a Buenos Aires tango bar. There he sees Ho in the arms of another, and when Ho contacts Lei to resume the relationship he says he is not interested. However, when a badly beaten up Ho arrives at Lei's flat, he takes him in, but the relationship is still not working: Ho sees other men, and Lei resorts to stealing Ho's passport to keep him close at hand.

From Amazon.co.uk

The expressionistic, stylised visual brilliance (courtesy of Australian cinematographer Christopher Doyle) of Happy Together is so breathtaking and enveloping it nearly detracts from this startling, queasy, despairing glimpse at a gay relationship gone amok. Director Wong Kar-Wai (Chungking Express, Fallen Angels) won the Best Director Prize at Cannes in 1997, surprising many; but on viewing the film it's easy to see why. The subject matter may not be the easiest to swallow--any relationship on the rocks sometimes gets dirty and pathetically disturbing--but there is a universality to Happy Together that rings true and real and less like an edition of The Honeymooners than isolation tinged with the embarrassment of intimacy. Ho (Leslie Cheung) and Lai (Tony Leung) have left Hong Kong for Buenos Aires. The journey is another in Ho's attempts to "start over". But their initial optimism is short-lived, and once they become dislocated strangers in this strange land it only further thrusts the two into their already co-dependent dark love affair. But like all crazy love, the trip through masochistic hell--from violence to apathy--leads to self-enlightenment, and Wong Kar-Wai's gorgeous, grasping film is true, tricky, difficult and emotionally wrought, aided by Hong Kong superstars Cheung and Leung, who contribute greatly to creating a work that is exceptional--and lump-in-throat brutal--in image, story and performance. --Paula Nechak, Amazon.com

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ashleigh on 4 July 2007
Format: DVD
I'm not sure why I enjoyed this film. There is no plot to speak of, it focuses on a couple from Hong Kong who are in Argentina and the breakdown of their relationship. That said, anyone who has ever been in a relationship (gay or otherwise) will empathise completely with this film.

Tony Leung and Leslie Cheung manage to portray one of the most realistic relationships ever committed to celluloid. The acting is so natural, that at times I forgot I was watching a film, I was so immersed in their performances.

This is the first Wong Kar Wai film I have ever saw and I found the directing style a bit jarring at first but soon found that it fit in with the story excellently.

I would definitely recommend this film to anyone who loves proper cinema.
Give it a go, you won't be disappointed.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By terry caulfield on 4 Nov. 2003
Format: DVD
Won kar wai's films seem to become more pessimistic and heartfelt the longer he goes on. Fortunately for us viewers this means that they also become more beautiful and heartbreakingly moving than ever. The film deals with the destructive relationship between two gay lovers (Tony Leung and Leslie Chung) as they try to keep alive their ailing love for each other by travelling to Beunos Aires to "start again", but only leads to their gradual but inevitable parting. With excellent performances from the two leads and stunning photography from Christopher Doyle, this is a must see for all Won Kar Wai fans, and in fact, for anyone with an appreciation of world cinema. Higly recommended!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By M. Lyon on 1 April 2004
Format: VHS Tape
A bold statement, but as a fan, student and professor of Asian film for more than a decade, I can say without reservation that this is amongst the finest films I have ever seen. The relationship between Tony Leung and Leslie Cheung is universal - regardless of age, race or sexual orientation, you will find yourself drawn to these stunning characters, which are without equivocation the finest roles played in the lengthy careers of these two Hong Kong superstars. I rarely gush over a movie so, but Happy Together deserves every word of praise and more. Deeply moving and superbly acted, it features Kar-Wai's most clever metaphorical writing and directing, and it is surely Christopher Doyle's finest hour.
Though not the hit in Europe or the US that it could have been with the proper marketing and distribution (that was left for In The Mood For Love, an equally beautiful if less heartstopping feature), this film is a true classic and deserves a shot from all who love the cinema.
Some may find it lacking, but I cannot picture a finer film - and since it is my profession to picture exactly that, I hope it is high praise indeed.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Simon Liu on 9 May 2005
Format: DVD
I heard about this film from somewhere which I cannot remember for the life of me, but I think I saw the trailer and then was immediately drawn into the film.
The cinematography creates an atmosphere of what the director thought Argentina was like. It is not wonderfully glossed-over with sparkling shots of the two men, quite the opposite - it shows them at their worst when they are with each other but it is through this, that I think, the two men come out at their best because this is the side of people we never see, and the fact it's coming out to both of them shows they have reached a very real level of intimacy.
The main character 'fei' or 'yieu fei' is probably the more dominant character although he does end up indulging the other character 'wing' or 'bo wing' - who keeps leaving him and reappearing again throughout the film. From boredom to despair, to displeasure to illness (or injury) 'bo wing' always comes to 'yieu fei' and 'yieu fei' always takes him back. No matter how hard he knows it'll be when 'bo wing' will eventually leave, or how hard he has to work to keep him happy - he does it anyway. It is not in this that I think the greatest part of the film lies.
Their dialogue which ultimately define the dynamics of their relationship is where I think the core of the magic of the film happens. In my opinion, being born from a half-Cantonese/Szechuanese background in Scotland I understand genuine Cantonese dialogue, culture and behaviour. This film provided just that, only between two gay men. I would not say that the dynamics were such as that between a man and a woman, but there is definitely a sense of one having power over the other.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tommy Dooley TOP 100 REVIEWER on 14 Jan. 2015
Format: DVD
This is a film by Wong Kar Wai (`My Blueberry Nights' and `The Grandmaster') made back in 1997. It has at its heart a very simple plot. Po-Wing and Yiu-Fai have travelled from Hong Kong to holiday in Argentina. Once there, their often volatile relationship takes a nose dive. Yiu-Fai ends up working in Buenos Aries trying to save enough money to get home and trying to forget the past.

Then Po-Wing comes crashing back into his life needing a lot of help after being beaten by his `sugar daddy'. He is taken in and cared for but Yiu-Fai has seemingly moved on emotionally and can not commit further. Things develop and as they do we see a relationship disintegrating - almost in slow motion.

This is an interesting film on many levels. First it is a very honest observation of a relationship (gay or otherwise) in its swan song and of the conflict of emotions that go with it. Also the way it has been filmed adds to the on screen emotion by shifting from monochrome to colour and adds to the feeling of loneliness and isolation that pervade the whole film. It is a film that needs bearing with though and the version I saw did seem a poor quality transfer (VHS to DVD maybe?) that said the quality of the film still managed to shine through.
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