‘I’ve heard that there was a kind of bird with no legs. It could fly and only fly…when it got tired, it slept in the wind. This kind of bird only lands once…that was the time it died.’
Whenever I finish watching any of Wong Kar Wai film, the intoxication of visuals, the momentary treatment of time and the unforgettable sublime loneliness of characters linger on senses for a long time. Now that’s what I love to call ‘a cinema of elegance’. His preoccupation with themes of isolation and longing with lovelorn outsiders suck the viewers to a different realm like metaphysical poetry. “One day, he pointed his watch and told me, he would remember me forever for that very minute. It was the nicest thing I’ve ever heard. But now when I look at a watch, I’ll tell myself, I’ve to forget this man from that very one minute,” said Maggie Cheung, who almost remains the destined muse of unrequited love in Wong’s visual poetic canvas of romance and melancholy. Maybe those who've truly loved somebody selflessly, would know the intensity of unspoken longing!
The fragmentary plot revolves around emotional dislocation and ambiguity of temporal relationships of love and hate between all six characters. Centre to all is an unpredictable loner Yuddy (played by Leslie Cheung) who’s wild and romantic outside, agitated and restless inside searching the root of his existence. His random and fragmentary emotional relationships and ill fate throughout the film makes and breaks almost all the characters he acquainted. Wong’s dealing with the element of actual time and screen time is so experimental. In certain frames time just pauses, runs with screen time or jumps to years in a flash! As usual the background score is treat to ears; soulful acoustic guitar strumming in case of this one. Camera doesn’t speak or shout but whispers in Wong’s films. Close and low angle shots in low key light keeps us so close and yet so detached to the melancholy, and longing of the characters. That blue tinted landscape in slow motion from passing train is something! There’s quite a similarity between his master stroke ‘In the Mood for Love’ and this one; as both of the films depicts and portrays 60’s Hong Kong in nostalgic frames with moments of unspoken personal emotions, desire and memory like no other.