Chungking Express is the most celebrated movie made by the master New Wave Hong Kong director Wong-Kar-Wai. The stylized, visceral, eccentric, and irresistible off-beat drama, laced with a pinching dose of black satirical humour, might just be the cinematic rendition of The Beatles’ legendary song Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Urban alienation, loneliness, and the wish to come to terms with them are explored by the hypnotic, super kinetic depiction of two separate stories of lovelorn cops and their chance to redeem themselves – with a mysterious femme fatale in the first, and a cute, estranged young lady in the second. The movie is presented in a blaze of blinding, garish neon lights (courtesy in large parts to the visually stunning cinematography of Christopher Doyle), and catchy pop track (Mammas and Pappas’ California Dreamin’ has been superbly used in the second story) which marvelously juxtapose the exuberance without and the hollowness within, thus managing to capture the fascinating character of the city of Hong Kong. In fact, the fascinating city of Hong Kong is almost a fifth character in this absolutely terrific piece of work, which, as a critic aptly stated, is a near perfect fusion of form and style. This movie also provided a great platform for the charisma and acting of Tony Leung.
Director: Wong Kar-Wai Genre: Urban Drama/Existential Drama/Avant-Garde/Experimental Language: Chinese (Cantonese/Mandarin) Country: China (Hong Kong)