Chungking Express

*Warning: May be spoilers*

Finally watched Chungking Express after having it recommended to me by friends over the past few years. I would have watched it sooner, but unfortunately this film (and seemingly all of Wong Kar-wai’s films) aren’t available on ANY online streaming service.

Overall, I did enjoy the film, especially for what I felt was a thoughtful and inventive (even if the film is almost 20 years old!) connection between the filming style of each scene (e.g., jumpy hallway scenes, blue tint) and the hazy, disorienting story it told. Visually speaking, the film was an atmospheric marvel.

At first, I felt a bit deceived by how the two storylines didn’t seem to build off of one another. After seeing the start of the chase for the would-be drug smugglers, and the line teasing how the two characters are about to fall in love, it was quite surprising that the first storyline abruptly ended and wasn’t revisited at the end of the movie. The way that each storyline shared a police officer, a flight attendant of sorts, and the food stand, may have been nothing more than a setup – something to string you along. It was almost as if the filmmaker wanted to say: “Expecting a Hollywood movie, where everything’s tied up in a bow at the end? Well, watch this!”

I think this will be one of those films I’ll enjoy watching a few more times, trying to pick up on some of the clues and overlaps in between the different stories. Since this is my first Wong Kar-wai film, I’ll also look forward to checking out his other work. Next up: In the Mood for Love.

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