Wednesday, December 01, 2004

SEE: Chungking Express (1994)

Got introduced to the world of Chinese director Wong Kar-Wai at the New Beverly Cinema. By the way, the Beverly Cinema is a great movie venue that showcases old films. I've desired to go there for a long time because they show classics that I've always wanted to see on the big screen.

Anyway, I watched Wong's Chungking Express. And I LOVED IT. It was quite the cinematic experience. Very stylistic, you know, artsy. The writing was quite poetic at times. Wong is one of the best storytellers that I've encountered.

I loved the editing and camerawork. Visually stunning. Lots of color splashing, like an artist would throw paint on a canvas, especially in the beginning of the film. The movie has a rhythmic quality, sometimes moving at a quick pace, other times slowing down.

I love watching the works of foreign filmmakers because it's fresh, unconventional, and visually refreshing. Makes watching movies an enriching and stimulating experience rather than a dull, and sometimes even exasperating, experience that it can be when watching mainstream pop American movies.

So what is Chungking Express about? Actually, it's two different stories in one movie so it's like a two for one deal. The first is about a young cop who can't find a date on the eve of his birthday. His two girlfriends have dumped him so he spends the whole night looking for a date. The actor who plays the cop is incredibly good-looking so it's hard to believe that chicks keep rejecting him. After downing 30 nearly expired cans of pineapples (you'll have to watch the movie to see why), he goes to a bar. The poor dude attempts to pick up a mysterious sunglassed woman by asking her, "Do you like pineapples?" The woman is clearly not interested in him.

The second story involves another cop. This guy is even more ridiculously good-looking. In fact, I thought he was so hot he must be gay. He's probably the best looking Asian male I've laid my eyes on. An Asian George Clooney. Anyway, this is another cop down on his luck with love (again, hard to believe because he is so freakin' fine). The poor guy can't get over his last girlfriend who dumped him. He's hopelessly heartbroken. But it's quite funny to see how heartbroken he is. You can tell by his pitiful yet hilarious monologues. Nevertheless, hope comes in the form of a new, albeit quirky/weird, girl who pops into his life. There's a lot of attraction between them but he's too hung up on his ex that he's reluctant to make the move.

Wong Kar-Wai really knows how to craft a movie artistically while not alienating his audience. Stylistic yet engaging. I appreciate directors that understand film as art and use it as a medium for artistic expression. Chungking Express is simply filmmaking at its best. I was truly captivated by this film. Very mesmerizing. It stays with you for a while after you walk out of the theatre. Visually stunning and heartwarming stories. What more could you ask for?

Wish I could give this movie an additional five stars.

::5 stars::