Movie of the Week: Chungking Express (1994)

Wong Kar-wai directs Takeshi Kaneshiro, Tony Leung and Faye Wong in this Hong Kong diptych where two lovelorn cops start strange new romances anchored around a late night takeaway joint.

Easily Wong Kar-wai’s best – this treats the backstreets, bright lights and plastic picnic furniture of HK as oils in an expressionistic painting. The crime story aspects are dialled back, this is about heartbreak and fate. Real quirky romance. Faye Wong’s breaking and entering interior designer is the original manic pixie dream girl, the adorable stalker with keys to your home. Tony Leung is the beat cop who only seems to converse freely with his dishrag. Takeshi Kaneshiro is eating a month’s worth of expired tinned pineapples to get over his lost amour. Brigitte Lin is the hyper hot femme fatale; she’s heard all the lines and is on the run after her drug smuggling scam has gone wrong. California Dreaming on such a winter’s day. Like the lyrics of that song, which becomes near anthemic to this movie, Kar-wai sees the poetry in everything, the apposition in the everyday, the magic in yearning. Like Jim Jarmusch and Robert Altman, this feels almost anti-genre, a very difficult trick to pull off but here executed with masterful elan.


Check out my wife Natalie’s Point Horror blog

We also do a podcast together called The Worst Movies We Own. It is available on Spotify or here

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