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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.
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Initial post: 9 May 2014 14:13:49 BDT
Dan Smith says:
Good review - to add my 2 c, I thought the scenes with Zhang ZiYi (the showgirl) were terrific; in fact the acting was all round brilliant - those Chinese/Hong Kong types really blew my socks off!
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