In The Mood For Love (2000)

4 Stars

In The Mood For Love (2000)

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Two couples move in next door to each other and the opposing husband and wife go to Japan as part of their affair. Their spouses realise this and try to work how it happened, taking turns to play the role of their spouses' lovers.


I was pleased to be able to actually watch In The Mood For Love after I took Japanese film Ikiru on the train with me only to find I'd forgotten to rip the subtitles (edit: I actually had, but didn't have them turned on!). I didn't fancy starting another Oriental film without some clue as to what was happening.

Initially, I was very sceptical of the film. What seemed like hundreds of Hong Kong nationals were thrown on-screen as the couples' neighbours and friends are introduced. Cleverly though, the faces of the cheating spouses are not shown as their impact on the filmed storyline is mostly irrelevant.

As the film settles down on the two protagonists, I slowly figured out why Empire had awarded In The Mood For Love 5-stars. They are very keen on films with strong imagery and In The Mood For Love is up there alongside the likes of Black Narcissus and Chinatown in terms of intelligent camera-work providing the feel of a scene. Downtown Hong Kong is captured in a strange beauty that I didn't think was possible having visited the province a couple of years ago.

Of course, the lingering camera shots are never going to be everyone's cup of tea and some scenes can be a little tedious if you are unable to appreciate or understand the metaphorical picture. That said, the simple storyline does go a long way to aiding this film's accessibility.

Review by on . Film Rating: 4/5