Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Ziyi Zhang, Faye Wong, Li Gong, Takuya Kimura
Director: Kar Wai Wong
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy
The continued story of Chow Mo-Wan, who uses his experiences at a Hong Kong hotel in the 1960s to write a futuristic tale about the mysterious woman who stayed next door to him in room 2046. — Genre: Feature Film-Drama — Rat... more »
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Albert K. from NEW YORK, NY
Reviewed on 12/23/2012...
If you have not seen this movie - you have not seen anything.
A must have for any DVD collection.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Paul McGrath | Sacramento, CA | 12/30/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As a young college student many years ago, I took a film class as a kind of lark and to fulfill some requirement or other. It was pretty much a waste of time. There was one camera to go around among twenty students, so we each got about a week with the thing and hardly anybody got anything done. The one good thing was that we got to see some avant-garde films. They were real eye-openers, in that film, to me, had pretty much always been a depiction of a linear story line with a beginning, middle, climax and end. The avant-garde films we watched rarely had any kind of a story line at all, but despite this the better ones were still able to elicit a satisfying emotional or intellectual response.
The first thing you have to remember when you watch 2046 is that there is not a conventional story line here. In fact, the haphazard nature of the film's scenes--past, present, future, imagined and "real"--don't even make sense in their own illogical framework. You have to know this going in because if you strain to make sense of the plot--as we have all been conditioned to do--you will miss the point. Indeed, I had to watch this a couple of times.
The film consists of a series of scenes primarily focusing on a Chinese writer named Chow. He is in Singapore, and leaves a beautiful woman behind who may or may not have loved him. He is in Hong Kong, and falls for another beautiful woman who is murdered in her hotel room. He tells the hotel-keeper that he wishes to move into this room--2046--because he is evidently trying to return to this place in his mind and his heart. Of course, he can't, literally or figuratively, so he is given the room next door. He begins an affair with a prostitute who moves into 2046 and who loves him with every fiber of her being. He uses her as a prostitute only. He falls in love with the hotel-keeper's daughter who herself is in love with a distant Japanese man her father despises. He writes a science-fiction piece--visualized in the film and entitled 2046--which is a story of the future and a train on which female androids serve one but with whom one must never fall in love, and on which he imagines himself to be Japanese.
Ehh, no, this is not a coherent storyline. The future is mixed with the past which is mixed with the present which is mixed with his story which is mixed up with his imagination. In the end, it occurs that it is entirely possible that all of these women are the same person; that they are simply some ideal of love he has concocted in his mind. Maybe not.
Visually, the film is a stunner. Every scene, every backdrop, every set-piece is carefully and meticulously orchestrated. Cigarette smoke drifting above a cluttered desk; a beautifully-clothed female form asleep on a bed; cards laid out on a green table in a dark restaurant: you could paint these scenes and hang them in an art museum. The framing device is also very artful. It is constrained and prevents us from seeing what we want to see. It is hard to comprehend. More importantly, the attention that is being paid to these details and the beauty with which they are rendered concentrates the viewer's attention: something incredibly important is going on. This feeling is reinforced by the musical score--opera and classical mostly--which drifts in and out plaintively.
The acting, from the smaller to the larger roles, is spectacular. So much is going on beyond that which is said, and beyond that which is implied. All of the actors and actresses are superb, but special mention must be paid to Ziyi Zheng, who plays the prostitute, and who burns a hole in the screen every time she appears on it. She is an un-erupted volcano of barely restrained emotion: thin, beautiful, lonely, sensual, and terribly, terribly sad.
In the end, and without perhaps realizing it, we understand that the film works as a statement on the human condition, and the clumsy, random way we try to seek happiness in it. We recognize true love after our chance for it is over, or after our previous actions have rendered it impossible. Or maybe because we failed to recognize it altogether. Or maybe because we are not Japanese, or younger, or older. Complete, unfettered happiness only exists in 2046, a room we cannot enter; a year that is in an unfathomably distant future.
That this film is an original and successful experiment with the medium, that it is so beautifully photographed and scored, that it is so perfectly acted, and that its grand themes are completely realized, make it one of the best films of the year, if not the decade."
Can Lives Be Redeemed, or Only Lived Out?
Kang Nan | FPO, AP United States | 04/08/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Continuing his unparalleled examination of human relationships, Wong Kar Wai returns to the character of Chow from In the Mood for Love, who had one chance for love, lost it, and has never gotten it back. (While it is not necessary to have seen the former film to understand 2046, In the Mood for Love is such a wonderful film, that I recommend it to anyone who likes 2046). Tony Leung gives a wonderful performance, clearly showing that he knows he should treat his women better than he does, but after giving his heart once in vain, he is not prepared to ever do so again.
2046 appears at first to be a year in the future, but is ultimately revealed to be the number of a hotel room where Chow had his one chance at happiness. He finds a modicum of that innocence once again, this time in 2047, with a different woman (the daughter of the innkeeper, played by Wang Faye), the only one he treats with anything like the affection he had for the woman who had shared (platonically) 2046 with him earlier. He writes a story for her, called 2047. She says she likes it, but wishes it had a happier ending, something fans of Wong Kar Wai sometimes long for, but realize would not be true to that which goes on during his stories.
Aside from Tony Leung's masterful performance, 2046 is the perfect platform for the greatest Chinese actresses of today, demonstrating once again that no one can break your heart like Maggie Cheung, no one can make you happy like Wang Faye, no one can be a [...]like Zhang Zi Yi (albeit one that can still have her heart broken because she uses a hard exterior in a vain attempt to protect a brittle interior) and no one could ever be as beautiful as Gong Li.
Like most of Wong Kar Wai's movies, the ending can be called bittersweet at best. He has only had one semi-happy ending, in Chungking Express, which also featured Tony Leung and Wang Faye (the only other time she has appeared in one of his movies). This time, the only character who ends up happy is Wang Faye's, largely due to Tony Leung's intervention. I don't know if that is a coincidence, or perhaps a comment on the fact that it isn't really possible to have anything but a happy ending when her luminous cheeks and eyes bless the screen. For all of the other characters, however, we see much of the same unfulfilled longings and reconciliation to the alienation so many feel toward their families, friends and lovers.
Each of Wong Kar Wai's films has built up to this ultimate piece on what it means to be human and to know other humans. You should really watch all of them, but even if you just watch this one, you will be the richer for it."
A visionary and intoxicating experience
Alec Price | UK | 02/19/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Wong Kar-wai is one of the finest filmmakers in the world; an artist of singular vision and remarkable range. 2046 is probably his biggest project to date, but his eye remains firmly focussed on the spectrum of human emotion and behaviour. It would be redundant to attempt to encapsulate some form of plot outline (on the surface of things, Tony Leung reprises his character from the majestic IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE, contemplating his many varied encounters with women in the past, present and even future, all the while longing for Maggie Cheung - his on-screen partner in the previous film - who remains the love of his life).
Suffice to say, narrative is not the point - Wong's films are about pure experience; creating mood and atmosphere to lose yourself in. If you can tune in to his wavelength, the effect is rapturous.
The transfer on the new DVD is very fine, and is complemented by an impressive array of feautures which do a good job of conveying Wong's complex approach to his craft."