In The Mood For Love

Hong Kong (2000)
Dir: Wong Kar-Wai

Cast: Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Maggie Cheung

A nostalgic and stylistic "romance" set in trendy and atmospheric 1960's Hong Kong where two neighbours (in a typically crowded Hong Kong apartment building), a man and a woman, find themselves increasingly abandoned by their own spouses who are always on long trips abroad. Their mutual discovery that their spouses are having extra-marital affairs eventually draws them together, but there is much to be said about restraint and adherence to social customs. A very stylish and sometimes surrealistic movie that is trademark Wong Kar-Wai. A bit of a visual treat but ultimately I found it somewhat tiring and even claustrophobic at parts.

Rating: 6.5


France (1992)
Dir: Regis Wargnier

Cast: Catherine Deneuve, Vincent Perez, Linh Dan Panh

While efficiently running a rubber plantation in French-Indochina, Eliane has a short-lived affair with a young Naval officer. Things become complicated when Eliane's adopted Vietnamese daughter Camille falls for the same officer and vows to elope with him. She is unthwarted as Eliane uses her influence to get the man transferred to a remote outpost, and goes off in search of him on foot, encountering various dangers along the way.

This is a load of romantic claptrap that seems quite formulaic, and only the beautiful scenery redeems the movie somewhat.

Rating: 6.0


Norway (1997)
Dir: Erik Skjoldbjærg

Cast: Stellan Skarsgård, Sverre Anker Ousdal

Two police investigators arrive at Tromso in the summer to solve a baffling murder of a young girl, where the midnight sun relentlessly shines and hence the title of this movie - the protagonist detective finds himself increasingly unable to sleep because of the 24-hour daylight. Later one wonders if it is his nagging conscience and his growing obsession with the murder victim that causes his sleeplessness. As the investigation winds on and an unexpected tragedy occurs, one wonders where he will draw the line in trying to catch the murderer.

This is a psychological thriller tracing the possible mental breakdown of a detective, and it is competently filmed in rather un-photogenic Tromso.

Rating: 6.5

Copyright 2002 ArtemisWorks