Set in Shanghaiese enclave of Hong Kong in 1962, In the Mood for Love(2000) tells us the story centered on two couples or rather two halves of young couples leaving as tenants, across the hall from each other. We have Mrs. Chan, who works as a secretary in the export company and her husband works for a multinational company which keeps on sending him on frequent trips to Japan and Mr. Chow, who is a newspaper editor and his wife also does a job which keeps on sending her out a lot. After they move in as neighbors on the same day, they get introduced to each other as anyone of us would to our neighbors - occasional hi-hello, a casual smile and eventually warm up to each other with more interaction and their common liking of martial arts stories. Mr. Chow is having a little problem in his marriage since he found out that his wife lied to him about something. One of his colleagues plants a seed of doubt in his mind when he tells him that he saw his wife with another man. Initially, he discards the seemingly outrageous thought but then he notices that Mrs. Chan has exact same handbag as his wife. He decides to talk to her and see if he can make any sense out of it. When they meet over dinner, they realize that both their spouses are cheating on them with each other and they both suspected it all along.
Now that they know the truth, they are drawn together being passengers on the same train. They wonder how did their spouse's affair start ? Help each other confronting their spouses by role playing and if nothing else helps, be there for each other when they both are lonely. Even though their intentions are admirable to start with, as they keep on spending more time together, borders start to faze out. Director Kar Wai Wong takes a simple story, the restraint and growing passion between these two people and then go on playing endless blue notes to get us hooked. Without actually showing anything on screen, he uses rain and eye gestures to do the work of creating the right mood to the great effect. One more thing he uses really well is their role playing game , which starts as to help each other understand what exactly happened. However, when they both are not sure of how many borders they are ready to cross, unsuspectingly they cross the borders of their roles and what we get is an extremely vivid collage of their feelings. One more fun fact, apparently Wong never uses any script. Most of his work is improvisation, deciding which direction to head next on the spur, crafting the story and mood as he went along.
Rating(out of 5):