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.Written by
Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>
The title is an amalgamation of two "landmarks" in Hong Kong. 1) Chungking Mansions, a drug-filled, rundown hostel populated by Indians, Pakistanis and Nepalese. 2) Midnight Express, a Indian fastfood store in Lan Kwai Fong, a major bar district populated by foreign yuppies (Tony Leung vists California, a bar located directly across the street from it). See more »
In the part where Faye leaves the apartment and the camera shows her going out, a portion of the camera is seen in the mirror for a brief moment. See more »
[223 leaves the store]
He Zhiwu, Cop 223:
Somehow everything comes with an expiry date. Swordfish expires. Meat sauce expires. Even cling-film expires. Is there anything in the world which doesn't?
[223 gives a can of pineapple to a passing street person. The street person looks at the can and throws it on the ground]
It's expired. Don't want it.
He Zhiwu, Cop 223:
See more »
The original Hong Kong release ran 98 minutes. 'Kar Wai Wong' made several changes to the international version, bringing the running time to 102 minutes:
The international version expands the scenes where The Blonde prepares for the smuggling trip and later searches for the smugglers.
Indian music plays during the smugglers' arrival at the airport in international prints; in the Hong Kong version, the title theme plays.
The international version includes the kidnapping of an Indian girl, which does not occur in the Hong Kong version.
The sequence with Zhiwu loitering outside his girlfriend's window appears earlier in international edit.
In the Hong Kong version, the Faye Wong cover of "Dreams" plays over the shot of 663 drinking coffee. The international version strips out the music (leaving only ambient noise), although "Dreams" still appears at the end of the film. The international cut is Wong's preferred version and has been used for most home video releases. The Hong Kong cut was released on VHS/laserdisc by World Video and on VHS/LD/DVD by Mei Ah.
I love this film. There, that is as simple as I can make it out. I am not going to go into any details about the plot (some people have accused it of not having one)or what takes place in the film, just want to say that this is the real deal. A film about love that is mired in reality (though shot through the lens of alcehmist - truly a visual experience to be savoured)though not gritty reality, just every day boring life and love, the sort of love we go through each day ourselves, the kinda incomplete love where two people touch each other briefly and spend more time dreaming of what could be rather than it actually taking place. A film that is romantic in all the right places, in all the right ways (believe me it will make you smile not reach for the sick bucket - Hollywood take note)and has a deft light comic touch that leaves you smiling in recognition at the heartbreak rather than crying over it. The acting and script are both first rate - tony leung can do no wrong in my book - and overall it leaves you hungry for more little gems like this. (Either that or wishing you were in love...)
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