Recently I watched again “In the mood for love” – the most acclaimed of Wong Kar-wai movies and one of my favourite movies too.. It is a beautiful film, not so much about telling a story as creating an atmosphere.. Nostalgic atmosphere of 60s.. Striking cinematography, brilliant soundtrack, it gives you a great aesthetic pleasure..
There are stunning shots in this movie, you want to absorb them like paintings; in fact, it does remind me of impressionistic paintings, that capture ordinary moments of life, revealing the hidden beauty in mundane.. It also reminds me of Japanese Haiku, short, succinct poems that convey more symbols and associations than actual words.
It’s like with beautiful paintings, you can see the movie again and again, and each time you notice something new..
This time I noticed dresses.. Not that I didn’t notice them before, but that time I actually counted them!
The main character played by Maggie Cheung wears elegant qipao, or cheongsam, close-fitting dress with a high neck that emphasizes her fragile beauty..
The dresses play an important role in the film as they indicate the passage of time. It seems even the filmmaker himself doesn’t know how many dresses are in the film: ” In fact, we had 20-25 dresses for Maggie for the whole film. Because we cut the film short, it becomes like a fashion show; she changes all the time.” (Interview with Wong Kar-wai, source)
Well, I counted 21 dresses.. Here they are, enjoy!
Lovely floral print, she wears it at the beginning of the movie. Notice the matching print on the curtains.
And again in the middle of the film. The clock (recurring object of Kar-wai movies) and the globe will appear many times..
The day of moving in.
Appears only in one scene.
Love this cute geometric print.
Doesn’t she look beautiful?
Another geometric print.
Vertical stripes. Love the colours..
Beautiful brown-olive dress. And I love that lampshade!
Maggie Cheung and Tony Leung. Perfect casting and perfect match!
“Snake-like” stripy dress.
Green dress matches the phone and the wall at the background.
In this shot the colours of the room contrast her dress. She’s in the hotel room, and she’s clearly out of her element.
Black and white dress and deliciously nice Tony Leung.
That’s my favourite with daffodils..
Red “seducing” dress. Not seen much.. It seems the scenes with this dress were deleted from the final version of the film.
Another geometric print. Matches wallpapers at the background.
Black and white floral dress.
Worn with red overcoat
Matching pattern on the bowl.
Another floral beauty that she wears in a heartbreaking scene under the rain.
It seems like their last meeting..
but in the next scene in the taxi she wears yet another dress!
She secretly visits his room in Singapore.
Some years later.. Meggie Cheung has changed her hair. She looks younger but less enigmatic.
The last time we see her.
He remembers those vanished years,
as though looking through a dusty window-pane,
the past is something he could see but not touch.
And everything he sees is blurred and indistinct.