Chinese Director Scores Again With 2046


Review by Harriet Robbins

In the Mood For Love, directed by Hong Kong's Wong Kar Wai was one of my favorite films of 2000, and now with the arrival of 2046, Wai's latest (a followup to In the Mood), my cup runneth over.

2046 follows the romantic interludes experienced by Tony Leung Chiu-Wai as the charming womanizer dallies with six women of extraordinary beauty and talent. The story, which brings together past, present and future in tantalizing segments, combines sci-fi and reality in a revealing and provocative manner.

Woven into the tapestry of human relationships is an emerging pattern: love 'em and leave 'em. Leung flits from one relationship to another, leaving bruised hearts along the way. His lack of commitment and his attitude leaves him with longing and regret as he is unable to establish a meaningful relationship with the women he encounters in his escapades.

The women realize there is no hope and, gracefully and regretfully, relinquish their hold on the man they love, and move on. As the director states, "There is a need in all of us to have a place to hide or to store certain memories, thoughts, impulses and dreams. These are a part of our livcs that we can't resolve or act upon, but at the same time we are afraid to jettison them, for some of it is a physical place; for others it is a mental space and for a few it's neither."

In this lyrical and stylish film we see a reflection of the human condition, where much is lost never to be regained.

2046 captures the contemporary style of relationships and brings into focus the gap that separates love and commitment.

2046 is a magical number that foretells the future: Hong Kong's final integration into China, and a hotel room number where the sexual liasons take place.

2046's cast includes Ziyi Zhang, Gong Li, Faye Wong, Carina Lau, Dong Jie and the fabulous Maggie Cheng. The musical score is enchanting and the film itself is thoroughly engaging, leaving profound thoughts behind. 2046 is a more-than-worthy sequel to In the Mood For Love.