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Lovers Lost Among The Fog Of Love



It would be tough to say that "2046" is any one thing. In fact, it is so many things, that instead of leaving with a single impression, you leave as if filled with a thousand wild feelings. The first being love. Wong Kar Wai is undoubtedly a man of very distinct cinematic vision and stirring mise-en-scene, but "2046" somehow takes us beyond that. Whereas his previous films have been criticized for their lack of a script, "2046" takes full advantage of this complaint, and shows how in certain circumstances, you don't need one. What "In The Mood for Love" does for the private, intimate love affair that steeps like a singular coffee pot on a stove burner, "2046" does for a varied breeze that blows across every part of your body. After "In The Mood for Love" you find yourself singularly affected by the simple nature of love found, then lost, then left to linger; unsatisfied. "2046" tosses us into a tempestuous sea of lovers struggling for connection. We see Tony Leung long for those he cannot have, mistreat those he can, and generally stumble upon his own tangled heart. We witness the fictional world of his novel, his past that haunts him, his present that escapes him, and none are specified, all are a bit confused and none stay long enough for us to corner and define them. This, in the end, is this films greatest weakness and most triumphant success. Throughout, I would ask myself if I'd rather have this film focus on one of the many different time lines, in the end, I say no. Just as "Last Days" offers an empty space and leaves us filled with our own longings to fill that space, "2046" offers us a chaotic cluster-fuck of hearts breaking, mending themselves, longing and betraying themselves. With "9 Songs", "Last Days" and "2046" we've been given the gift of films that, although flawed in areas, offer a more thorough emotion enjoyed long after the viewing and a more universal connection with the themes.

I would in fact say that "2046" is one of the great successes of this year, offering an incredible performance by, not only Tony Leung, but most resoundly by Ziyi Zhang, who covers the heart and soul of an incredible young woman so thoroughly and with such devotion. We also witness some outstanding work by Li Gong as a heartbroken young writer who ghost writes for our main character. This is not to say that "2046" doesn't run perhaps a bit long and explore one or two avenues that don't fulfill expectations. But in the end, this film succeeds where others of it's scope fail, in letting the subject ruminate and seep through your pores. There is no speech, there is no massive moment of explanation, simply the tears of many stranded lovers, twisted among their own hearts, and searching for a completion via someone else.

I would also like to note that in no way do I wish to compare this film to "In The Mood for Love". I think they are both entirely seperate, serve different purposes and succeed and fail in their own unique way. If you lived "In The Mood for Love" you'll enjoy "2046" and vice versa. One is is like peering from the next room at two private lovers, the other is like drifting through the corriders of many different loves and letting them complete something larger for you.

In sight, in sound, in spirit and in body, this film is a joy, and exceeded any preconceived notions I had for it. I reccomend it with my deepest love.
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