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>
Since Chungking Express was filmed in sequence or "like a road movie" as Wong Kar-Wai has said, Wong wrote each scene either the night before or in the morning of the day of filming. See more »
The woman in the blonde wig had no apparent opportunity to get the beeper number except from Cop 223 himself the night before, and he wouldn't have started to abandon his beeper as useless if he had just given someone new the number. See more »
He Zhiwu, Cop 223:
At the high point of our intimacy, we were just 0.01cm from each other. I knew nothing about her. Six hours later, she fell in love with another man.
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.
More than meets the eye in unusual tale of two HK cops
Wong Kar Wai triumphs stylistically in Chungking Express, a beautiful movie that places two fingers right on the throbbing pulse of what it means to be lovesick. Some viewers will not appreciate the director's decision to fracture the narrative into two distinct stories, but multiple viewings should cure any doubts. Hypnotic editing and camerawork capture a mood and tone that is equal parts Blade Runner and Breathless, and the principal performers are all delightful to watch. Memorable use of music additionally adds to the film's strength, along with a number of unique vignettes and quirks of character (think expired canned pineapple, a toy airplane and new additions to a fish tank, for example) that take unsuspecting audiences by surprise.
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