As the musical piece titled “Yumeji’s theme” invades the sound space of the visuals of Wong Kar Wai’s “In The Mood For Love” everything slows down as if we are watching a music video inside a movie. The re-appearance of this musical piece (a striking eight times) is a leitmotif to describe the relationship between Chow and Su, a love affair that never really starts. Every time the musical piece has repeated the devastation of it increases.
The lush cinematography paints the mood for love deftly focussing more on the tone of the story. The lack of a plot is dealt with Kar Wai’s meticulous attention to detail which makes him stand miles apart from his contemporaries. In Kar Wai’s words, he thinks in images which make his writing more visual than filled with words.
The most important thing about the story was the way the film has used spaces as a means to elevate the story from the ordinary plot about two people. If I have to pinpoint the moment where the film has cemented its status as a masterpiece is a point where Su runs to Chow when he is seemingly lost without any contact. She learns about his stay in a hotel and she runs to him. The frantic disjointed yet seamless edit of her running on the stairs and finally inside his room rightly displays her falling in love with him without any dialogue to make it clear.
The scenes of the movie are cut and wrote as if it is a thriller as confirmed by Wong Kar-Wai himself.
“These two people start out as victims, and then they start to investigate, to try to understand how things happened. Very short scenes and an attempt to create constant tension” – Wong Kar-Wai
He seems to be constantly questioning the rules of grammar of the film language as some of the shots are in defiance of it. The way he approaches this movie is nothing short of poetry where different shots, cuts and transitions are placed sometimes for the sound, sometimes for the tone and sometimes for the meaning.
In The Mood For Love is not a romantic movie but rather a movie about love.