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Happy Together [VHS] [1998]

Leslie Cheung , Tony Chiu Wai Leung , Kar Wai Wong    Suitable for 15 years and over   VHS Tape
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
RRP: 15.99
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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: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004CX3C
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 250,848 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

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

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.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Happy together-Unhappy together? 4 Nov 2003
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
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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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wong Kar-Wai's Finest Hour 1 April 2004
By M. Lyon
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
5.0 out of 5 stars An honest depiction of two gay, Cantonese men 9 May 2005
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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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poignant till the last... 18 May 2007
I have been a fan of Wong Kar-Wai movies for a while and I am also a fan of the two actors who play the main characters. It is easy to dismiss this as a Chinese attempt to make a gay movie, but it is not as simple as that and with Wong Kar-Wai, it is never a simple story. The story is not about glamour and the characters are two regular guys from HK. What is special about this movie, isn't the director's choice to make a gay movie, but a movie where two people struggle to get what they want in a relationship. One is openly promiscuous the other is a stable kind of guy. The former is selfish and only wants the latter when he has run out of other choices. The latter struggles to find comfort in that relationship and in the end he finds happiness leaving the relationship altogether.

The movie is quite realistic and deals with the issues within relationships. Choices are hard, but you have to make them. Love is an ideal, but what will you do and sacrifice to remain in love and at what cost? There are a lot of unhappy relationships out there. Sometimes it is a matter if circumstances, but at the end of the day, you have to help yourself. These problems don't just exist in gay relationships, but also those of straight people.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Let’s Start Over
With this 1997 work Hong-Kong Chinese film-maker Wong Kar-Wai again brings his distinctive 'modernist’ style to a bitter-sweet human relationship – this time, that of gay 'couple’... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Keith M
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning.
The story of two lovers who head to Argentina, to escape Hong Kong. They always argue, then start over. Ultimately things just don't work out. Read more
Published 2 months ago by DominicB
1.0 out of 5 stars Location and cinematography before plot and story.
I finally saw this film a few months ago when a friend ordered it, to him it's a complete foreign language film. Read more
Published 11 months ago by East End James
5.0 out of 5 stars A Little Classic
A beautifully paced film with an excellent soundtrack. All the actors are excellent, as is the story and editing. A worthy addition to anyone's collection.
Published 19 months ago by Jada
4.0 out of 5 stars Not his best but worth watching
Upon first watching "Happy Together" I was a little disappointed, particularly as I had watched In The Mood For Love [2000] [DVD] previously and was very impressed with it right... Read more
Published on 1 Aug 2010 by S. K.
4.0 out of 5 stars Happy Together
Enjoyed this film. Full of culture and helped me with my film studies exam :)

Worth watching.
Published on 30 July 2010 by Triwger
4.0 out of 5 stars Two viewings at least...
.... are necessary to understand what it's all about. The supplement really helps to understand why the plot may seem a bit confusing : apparently, even the director wasn't sure... Read more
Published on 26 Dec 2009 by Michel Petit
5.0 out of 5 stars Not bad at all!
Didn't expect so much emotion in this. Though one could argue there is no plot in this, there is at least meaning.
Published on 4 April 2009 by Plato Republic
5.0 out of 5 stars Has nobody else seen this film?!
I wanted to review this film because I noticed it has not been reviewed before. I didn't really know what to expect of this film, but bought it as it was listed in the 1001 Films... Read more
Published on 2 Feb 2009 by -Shopper
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
One of the most evocative and realistic portrayals of a relationship, and Galasso's soundtrack is so suited to the mood of this film. Read more
Published on 14 Oct 2005 by Wilhelm Snyman
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