Wong Kar-Wai's movie about two love-struck cops is filmed in impressionistic splashes of motion and color. The first half deals with Cop 223, who has broken up with his girlfriend of five years. He purchases a tin of pineapples with an expiration date of May 1 each day for a month. By the end of that time, he feels that he will either be rejoined with his love or that it too will have expired forever. The second half shows Cop 663 dealing with his breakup with his flight attendant girlfriend. He talks to his apartment furnishings until he meets a new girl at a local lunch counter. Add Synopsis In Spanish
Cast & Credits
Since I am going through a massive rewatch mission of old Martial Arts films; I decided to include other old Hong Kong/Chinese films to the rewatch party as well and what’s better than Wong Kar Wai’s genius pieces? After seeing this film again, I can fully understand why I loved it the first time. The magic magnifies even after years of first viewing.
As everyone knows, I am not a romance person or someone who cares about the “moving cinema” at all and I can hardly watch an artistic film and completely appreciate it but all of that is in a world and Wong Kar Wai’s productions in another world. Kar Wai is one of the fewest directors that I look forward to watch their romance tales even if I am not a big fan of the genre. Do you know why? Because he’s a master who knows how to portray love with the intense power of silence to make it feel gripping. The man uses only few pages of script and the rest is told through magnificent ways, the rule in Kar Wai’s films is: everything that’s unspoken is stimulating and even what’s spoken is full of wisdom and hidden meanings.
I am surprised at people who say: “Kar Wai’s films don’t have a plot”, I mean are you sure we’re talking about the same director and films? I am a fan of Wong Kar Wai and his splendid of ways of making love stories because many need to understand that romance films shouldn’t always be: met, smiled, fell in love, kissed and Tada Happily ever after tale story just like they shouldn’t be: met, fell in love, disease, death and cries . Wong Kar Wai’s breaks those rules to create outstanding pieces.
Now, let me just stop here or I won’t be able to refrain myself from talking about that brilliant director.
There’s a story behind this film. Actually, Wong Kar Wai found a problem with editing his film “Ashes of Time” (that was releases the same year by the way) so he left it behind then wrote and directed Chung King Express in the meantime. The film is about coincidences, brief encounters, loneliness and painful love but that’s not what this film is all about, there’s also warmth and fun to enlighten the watch.
Chung King Express is divided into separate narratives about two policemen; the first is about the dark heartbreaking side of love led by Takeshi (who gained his breakthrough due to this film) and femme fatale; the inside-conversation he had were simply intriguing in a way that would make you completely understand the character and its suffering. The second story outclasses the first if I may say. It’s not only because it’s less dark or because it had more run-time but also because it takes on other interesting turns. It’s about Tony who suffers the problems of post-breakup until a cheerful soul came along.
The acting was good and the characters were quite fitting for the storytelling. Takeshi still didn’t gain much experience while doing this film so Tony and his female lead merit more credit.
As usual, Kar Wai’s camerawork was amazingly done and the cinematography was quite alluring for the film’s theme. And let’s not forget ‘California Dreaming’ that was a great choice of theme music.
Watch this if:
-You like Wong Kar Wai’s films or you want to meet his work.
-You appreciate different types of love stories.
-You like artistic love films.
Do not watch if:
-You think Kar Wai films “don’t have a plot”.
-You dislike any of the cast.
Chung King Express is a stylish storytelling of love tales orchestrated by the excellent love stories’ director Wong Kar Wai with a notable set of cast.
Hong Kong Express is no exception. The acting is, not surprisingly, brilliant. Tony Leung in particular delivers his nonchalant, ironical and obsessed cop to perfection. To Kaneshiro the honour of the best line in the movie.
The director often uses a tecnique called step-framing, in which a character is frozen in time while the world around him or her moves at incredible speed. The viewer is therefore often deceived as to the real chronology of events.
So, this is a movie about love, but it's most of all a story of solitude, like those frozen characters, who are as lonely in a metropole as little ants in a moltitude of insects.
I gave it a 8 because I need to spare the 10 for "In the Mood for Love", possibly Kar-Wai's masterpiece so far.