Happy Together

Happy Together (Wong Kar-wai, 1997)

Ho Po-Wing (Leslie Cheung) and Lai Yiu-fai (Tony Leung Chiu-Wai), a couple from pre-handover Hong Kong, visit Argentina hoping to renew their ailing relationship. The two have a pattern of abuse, followed by breakups and reconciliations. One of their goals in Argentina is to visit the Iguazu waterfalls, which serves as a leitmotif in the movie.

Highly stylized romance drama about the difficult last moments of a relationship between two Hong-Kong men living in Argentina, Wong Kar-wai’s Happy Together is a visually beautiful film that leaves impressions more than leaving a clear reflexion on the story that is told in those experimental images.

With impressive shots of black and white and other superb color images, Happy Together feels more or less incomplete in a way that it is almost frustrating that such a beauty needs a couple of final brushes. As much as I think that My Blueberry Nights was too harshly reviewed when it came out, Happy Together did not made a consensus either with critics and fans.

When one reads further on the details of the making of this film, we learn that actors and the director didn’t knew which direction they would get to and the story was being written as they shoot the picture. Wong’s been questioning himself for all scenes and how they would go. This drafty angle of the making of confirms that the film never really materializes in front of our eyes since its director never had a vision of it. This is much like shooting bits here and there but without a tangible purpose. Sometimes great things can happen from this but with Happy Together it doesn’t deliver like we would hope.

It’s not everyday that we can gaze at a Wong Kar-wai film and even if it’s a real visual delight, this is another example of the auteur’s taste for style and form for his film more than substance and something toothier.
In his review,
Jonathan Rosenbaum described this better than I could ever formulate it : Like its characters, Happy Together is less a film with a subject than a film about not being able to find one. At best it’s a movie about being at loose ends, though it seems to mean something more for some Chinese viewers.

What consoles me, is that I still haven’t watched Ashes of Time, The Chungking Express, Fallen Idols, and Days of Being Wild and I hope they live up to my expectations.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...