28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars masterful
2046 is a masterful period piece and profoundly moving meditation on unrequited love, loss and desire. Its narrative is complex and rambling, its effect verbose and grandiose. But its combination of emotional impact and sumptuous visual artistry lift it into lofty cinematic heights.
The central character from 'in the mood for love' is reprised as a deeply...
Published on 14 Feb 2006 by Tim Bryant
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A tad disappointing
Not as good as the excellent In The Mood For Love but it was interesting to see what happened to Chow Mo-wan after the loss of Su Li-Zhen in that film. The cinematography and soundtrack are superb throughout but the plot does drag in quite a few places. I was hoping for more from this...
Published on 30 April 2009 by Grant Fitzgerald
Most Helpful First | Newest First
28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars masterful,
This review is from: 2046  [DVD]  (DVD)2046 is a masterful period piece and profoundly moving meditation on unrequited love, loss and desire. Its narrative is complex and rambling, its effect verbose and grandiose. But its combination of emotional impact and sumptuous visual artistry lift it into lofty cinematic heights.
The central character from 'in the mood for love' is reprised as a deeply jaded modern Casanova in 1960's Hong kong. Love is intricately bound to loss for him and his Hong Kong exploits serve to inflict this view upon his amorous conquests. The period detail and nuance of character and acting are exceptional. The same themes from 'in the mood for love' are blown up onto a radically large, disjointed canvas encompassing mirror narratives and a science fiction future. Is some of the effectiveness of the earlier work lost in the process? Maybe so but the artistic imagination and emotional evocation of themes make up for this.
2046 is used to stand for that which is desired and simultaneously unattainable. A date too far in the future for the characters to live to. Through the main character Tony Leung's writing of a short story 2047 and a future narrative set on a bullet train the idea that love is already lost is repeatedly evoked. This supremely jaded view of life and love is brought out in all the central character's doings.'I,m already missing you' black spider tells him in Singapore. Fictional episodes penned by Tony Leung blend with the main narrative to constantly stir up this tragic outlook. The viewer is left haunted and spellbound by the sumptuous visual realization of the lives of the characters in Hong Kong, and by the bravado and imagination of the science fiction story within a story. For someone unfamiliar with Wong Kar-wai's earlier work this could all seem like a bridge too far. But fans of 'in the mood for love' will recognize an accomplished master letting loose with all the tools and imagination in a considerable arsenal.
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing film,
This review is from: 2046  [DVD]  (DVD)This is an amazing film, that gets better with each repeated viewing. "2046" is a hotel room number, which for the hero, Chow, encapsulates his lost love, as it unfolded in the prequel to this movie, "In the Mood for Love." Here, "2046" also becomes a year to which one can travel by a time-machine type of train, a year in which it is believed people can recapture their lost memories. The film consists of the hero, who has loved and lost, going through a series of encounters with women, who in their turn have loved and lost. Throughout his series of experiences with women, he is in fact only looking for his lost love, Su Lizhen, but he can never refind her.
This is a rough, simplified plot synopsis, but the movie is much more complex than this, and it requires repeated viewings to enhance understanding. The repeated viewings are extremely rewarding, as this film is one of those art objects from which the viewer can draw new insights with each reexperiencing of it.
The cinematography is beautiful, and the musical score is absolutely superb and moving, underscoring the emotions felt by the characters. The music is designed to enhance our experience of each scene and to intensify emotion. Granted, the film is not an easy one to follow. Personally, I felt confused at times, especially on a first viewing. But at such moments you can just let yourself go with the emotion carried through image and sound.
"2046" rewards us with a beautiful and talented cast. I really enjoyed watching all the actresses that paraded on screen, among them Zhang Ziyi, of "Hero" and "Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon," Gong Li, Carina Lau, Faye Wong and Maggie Cheung, all of them giving superb performances.
As other reviewers have noted, it is not mandatory to see the prequel "In the Mood for Love" to understand "2046," but it is well worth it, as there are many symbols from the previous film repeated in this one, and a scene where Su Lizhen reappears in Chow's memory. Personally, I liked "2046" better.
Finally, I have to add that this film, though from my point of view amazing, is certainly not for everyone. If you prefer a straightforward storyline and a plot where things are happening all the time, then this film is not for you. This film emphasizes emotional experience at the expense of plot. As long as you come prepared for this, and with the right expectations, it is a great film, very rewarding and very worthy of repeated viewings.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Even better than In The Mood For Love,
This review is from: 2046  [DVD]  (DVD)I am not sure that I can reach the intellectual heights of some the previous reviews - however, I found it an intensely moving film. Wonderful acting all around - but in particular, Tony Leung (as always), Zhang Ziyi and Faye Wong really hold the heart of the film. You do not need to have seen the previous film to enjoy this, but it will deepen your understanding - the repeated imagery from In the Mood for Love (a hand on a balustrade, a figure against a wall, cavities for telling secrets into) was one of the key pleasures of the film for me. The film looks wonderful - both the parts set in the 60s and the futuristic segments - and will reward multiple viewings. Put simply, one of my favourite films of the last few years.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A tad disappointing,
This review is from: 2046  [DVD]  (DVD)Not as good as the excellent In The Mood For Love but it was interesting to see what happened to Chow Mo-wan after the loss of Su Li-Zhen in that film. The cinematography and soundtrack are superb throughout but the plot does drag in quite a few places. I was hoping for more from this...
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The pain of lost love?,
This review is from: 2046  [DVD]  (DVD)This is one of the most fascinating films I have ever seen! Set in 1960's Hong Kong, is it about the pain of lost love, as a writer tries to come to terms with losing the married woman he loves? Or is it about his determination to torture himself (and others) by never allowing himself to love again? He meets up with his great love again in another guise to love her passionately again, as she enriches his whole life once more and then again dismisses him in painful parting. Or does he? Is she just a fantasy to help him heal by recreating her in his imagination? He writes about his pain of his lack of her in his life as he creates a science fiction in which he is loved by a beautiful android on a bullet train on a journey to 2046 which is unattainable.
This is a film about mood and beauty for its own sake, about reflection as well as passion (note: passion not sex). The music is exquisitely chosen to reflect the feeling of the moment. It is a film to linger over, slowly, to savour and enjoy as the incomparable Tony Leung and a selection of the most beautiful and talented of Chinese actresses including Li Gong, work out its complex meanings. Whilst it is delicate and masterful, it is also very claustrophobic. The characters inhabit a small world of tight hotel rooms, narrow corridors, dark alleys, tiny restaurants. The melancholy clings to the walls. The main character, trapped in his sense of loss. The only glimpse of the sky is a grey, half-view, obscured by the unlit hotel sign against the rooftop platform where they go for a cigarette.
Here is a man struggling through the stages of grief in letting the love of his life go. Enjoying the fight to win over a tigress and his subsequent rejection of her is his anger stage. Gradually he is softened by learning to love a sweet, sincere girl who genuinely loves a Japanese, and he gives her up to him, enjoying his own loss as sacrifice and understanding better the meaning of real love. The whole journey in this film is a class act in dramatic terms. Strangely, it is not depressing at all, even though the subject matter would be so in the hands of a lesser producer. This film is driven by an intensity and unspoken passion in such a way that it communicates itself without self-pity. It is full of life. I can't recommend it highly enough to those who love the journey that a good film can take you on.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, emotional, and chaotic,
This review is from: 2046  [DVD]  (DVD)This film seems very disjointed and at first you're not too sure if you're watching a futuristic sci-fi feature, or love story. Although the latter is more on-the-mark, this feeling of disorientation is key to the way the film strings along many individual moments to build up a small web of characters.
This is the third film in a series and many of the themes carry through. I've not seen the previous films, (they aren't strictly 'prequels') so I can't say if they would have added anything to the experience. The number 2046 carries the weight of significance throughout the film; Chow Mo-Wan, a womanising pulp fiction writer uses his life experiences to author a series of adult books, and to create a semi biographical story set in the year 2046. 2046 is the room number he used to conduct an affair many years ago, and is the room number he finds himself and his former lover in after a chance meeting. When Chow finds himself in room 2047, this symbolises him moving on, but he still frequents room 2046.
Chow becomes involved with several ladies, but most intriguing is his relationship with Bai Ling, the beautiful escort girl with whom a mutual agreement is made for them to satisfy their lust for each other. It becomes clear that Bai harbours more than just physical attraction for him and the relationship turns stale as Chow seems to enjoy making her jealous. His feeling towards women seems cold and you sympathise for Bai.
Another prolific relationship begins with a daughter of his landlord. She is a budding writer and a fan of his 2046 serial. They work together and a sequel 2047 begins.
The film seems to implode at moments and a tangible 25 minutes or so of scenes which run fluidly becomes a confused amalgamation of what has been, and what is yet to come. The imagery is striking, lots of slow scenes where you start to think if the image is paused. Evocative and keeping you on your toes to concentrate are the main features of this film. The re-union between Chow and Bai is the the moment where we see if Chow really has, or can, move on from his past.
In a nutshell: The film looks beautiful, and through insights into the private lives of the characters, and their history - they have depth. These two things make the film watchable, even if it does sometimes feel like it drags. I'd love to give this 4 stars (in terms of atmosphere and artistic direction this is a 5 star film) but I'm opting for three as I feel as though there was something lacking from not watching the previous film "In the Mood for love". However, I did enjoy the film and look forward to returning to it in the future.
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Abstractions, reflections, and moments in time.,
This review is from: 2046  [DVD]  (DVD)2046 is perhaps Wong Kar-Wai's ultimate statement as a filmmaker... an epic, multi-layered masterpiece that acts as a sort of culmination of various themes, ideas, characters and motifs developed as far back as 1991 with his second feature, Days Of Being Wild. It also acts as a direct sequel to his last film, the sombre and restrained period piece, In The Mood For Love, with its continuation of the character, Mr. Chow, and his metamorphosis from polite, married journalist, to swinging playboy and creator of a series of steamy novellas set within the fictional world of 2046... a self-reflexive commentary on the themes and ideas established in the previous film, as well as a revaluation of the characters and scenarios that will appear in this film as well.
Like a lot of his work, the film is a rumination on time and memory, and a comment on how those factors can both soothe and enrage the ghosts of past heartache. It's also a comment on the writing process in general, with the character of Mr. Chow writing the story of 2046 - and it's follow up, 2047 - whilst simultaneously commenting on his own character, the women around him and the film it's self. There's certainly an air of Fellini about the project in this respect, with the film really coming down to a series of episodic love-affairs that only end up relating back to that ephemeral relationship between Chow and Su Li-zhen in the earlier film, with the allusions to La Dolce Vita, Casanova and The City of Women all bubbling away under the various other references and possible interpretations woven so meticulously into the story and the images.
Like In The Mood For Love, the film employs a fractured visual style to compliment the fragmented plot, with Wong and his three cinematographers shooting the action through doorways, windows, the cross-roads of corridors, breaking the composition up to obscure characters behind art-deco and pieces of furniture, whilst also using the stroboscopic technique familiar from all of Wong's previous films (in particular, ChungKing Express) to add a further, dislocated, dreamlike quality to the images. The use of colour, particularly in the scenes set within the story of 2046 and 2047 are absolutely ravishing, with Wong and, in particular, Chris Doyle (who shot the majority of the film) drowning the visual palette with amber yellows, deep purples, and violent reds. It's without question one of the most beautiful films I've ever seen, on a par with Cocteau's Beauty and The Beast, Kubrick's Barry Lyndon, von Trier's Europa, and Zhang Yimou's Hero... which was also shot by Doyle.
As noted before, there are quite a few layers woven into the film, like much of Wong's work the film is always evolving in a manner that is at times hard to fully comprehend, with the film really requiring a few viewings for the story to fully emerge. Although it seems like a continuation of Wong's style, particularly the style of his previous film, it also seems like something of a radical departure... a work of astounding intricacy and personal reflection akin to Tarkovsky's similarly personal and fragmented masterpiece Mirror. This, for me, is an apt comparison, with Wong using a lot of mirrored symbolism, not only in the way that he uses mirrors and reflective surfaces to capture the reactions of his characters, but also in the way that the women who move through the life of Mr. Chow seem to offer a reflection, or distant echo, of the character originally portrayed by Maggie Cheung.
This kind of deep interpretation might come across as guesswork or intellectual masturbation on my part, but for me, 2046 is an endlessly fascinating film open to a myriad of personal interpretations. Like the other commentators mentioned, the film works best if you bring your own pain and experiences to it, allowing the story of Chow and the relationship at the heart of In The Mood For Love to once again mirror our own thoughts and feelings. It is obvious throughout the film that Chow is a deeply wounded character hiding behind a façade of cool arrogance and heartless sex, though there is still that shard of naive romanticism so prevalent in Mood... lurking deep beneath the surface. This is most apparent towards the end of the film, in which we see Chow decamp to the gambling dens of Shanghai, where he meets a mysterious woman with a gloved hand, who is also mysteriously named Su Li-zhen.
Is this a real character or another creation of Mr. Chow, no different than the ciphers and abstractions found in his book, the scenes from which make up a great deal of the film's final act. The depiction of the world of 2046 and 2047 is one of the most startling cinematic creations ever witnessed, far-surpassing Kubrick's vision in 2001... the use of music, editing and cinematographic composition is astounding, whilst the whole final act of the films just brims with a melancholic beauty that is a heartbreaking and transcendent as those final scenes set within the ruined city, from In The Mood For Love. As with that film, 2046 begins and ends with a reprise of Chow's story about the man who whispered his deepest secrets into a hole carved within a rock, which adds a further element of self-reflection to the notion of writing and storytelling here.
Certainly a film of this nature won't appeal to all tastes, with a lot of viewers complaining about the continual fragmentation of the plot and the slow pace, which offers moments of thought and reflection (rare in today's fast-food cinema)... however, I feel that those really captivated by the ephemeral and ethereal depiction of love and undying devotion seen in the previous film of this cycle, or those with a fondness for the cinema of Tarkovsky, Fellini and indeed, Wong himself, will find this film suitably enthralling. For me, it's a fascinating work, one that is open to interpretation and rewards our patients and it's need for repeated viewings with a beautiful atmosphere, an enriching story, and some of the most beautiful images ever seen.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A film not to be missed,
This review is from: 2046  [DVD]  (DVD)I had seen this movie twice and although I was fascinated by its imagery, atmosphere and visual effects I was somewhat perplexed and slightly confused by the plot.
I went back to the movie "in the mood for love", then I carefully read the plot of 2046 in the "Wikipedia" and played (actually "studied") the video on my computer viewing and reviewing the difficult parts until the whole movie made sense.
The reward was immense. It is a difficult, fragmented, somewhat chaotic film but it is a work of art, a real masterpiece. In fact I can claim it as the most beautiful film of the last ten or so years.
4.0 out of 5 stars A different kind of movie collection,
This review is from: 2046 / In The Mood For Love (2 Disc Special Edition) [DVD]  (DVD)The first disc was enchanting, so different from the western style. Once I got into the 'mood' of the story it held my attention. The second disc was very different to the first, too explicit in comparison, it didn't have the emotional depth and was too involved with the physical. I was bored with it, I think because it lacked a story line.
3.0 out of 5 stars 2046 Dvd,
This review is from: 2046  [DVD]  (DVD)not a bad film quite, interesting but not really my thing it is subtitled which i am a fan of but the best thing about it is its cinamatography it is visually beautiful, and Ziyi Zhang is always worth watching .
Most Helpful First | Newest First
2046  [DVD]  by Kar Wai Wong (DVD - 2005)