Sensual and devastating in equal measure, the film Desiring to Love – 90%, by Wong Kar-wai, captures the loneliness of unsatisfied desire better than almost any other film from the 2000s. Wong uses lush imagery, precise framing, and slow motion to illustrate both the beauty of falling in love unexpectedly and the fractured feeling. of knowing that it can never be consumed. This film, which was released more than two decades ago in theaters, is one of the filmmaker’s most remembered works.
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Before hitting theaters, Wishing to love It premiered within the framework of the Cannes Film Festival within the official selection, where although it did not win the Palme d’Or, it did receive the award for Best Actor which went to Tony Chiu Wai Leung, who became the first actor from Hong Kong to obtain such recognition. This film is considered one of the best of Wong Kar-wai, but it also appears frequently in lists of the highlights of the cinema. For example, in 2016 it appeared in second place on a list that was compiled by the BBC under the title of the 100 best films of the 21st century, only being surpassed by Mulholland Drive by David Lynch.
Film critics rarely agree, but the fact that there seems to be a general consensus that says Wishing to love It is one of the best films of this new century so far, and the truth is that it is very rare to find someone who opposes this statement. It should also be noted that this film is part of an informal trilogy known as the love trilogy, along with the Days of Being Wild films – 90% and Blossoms.
Set in the early 1960s, the story that stars Tony Chiu Wai Leung and Maggie Cheung features them as neighbors who develop forbidden feelings for each other after discovering that their spouses are having an affair. The film stands out primarily for being a marvel of repression, with the emotional constriction taking physical form as these characters gather in narrow hallways and alleys, sometimes holding hands that reach out to touch as neighbors walk down the stairs. ; This is the intense emotional experience that remains etched in the viewer’s brain.
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About Desiring to Love –
90%, it can be said that it is a love story about love itself, about the pain of infidelity, and how it can remain in the minds of its subjects much longer than any relationship. The story is accompanied by a calm and subtle tone that masks a deep well of love and pain that only occasionally shows its face in the midst of the many visual repetitions, dodging ideas of adultery, heartbreak and infatuation without a clear scheme that operates on instinct. and intuition, engendering a sensation that is ultimately fleeting but creates the illusion of permanence.
This film is also characterized because at the time it presented novel artistic methods such as the repetitive use of similar scenes, which gives the viewer the impression that it is a film that they have already seen despite not being true. It’s one of those movies that is stylized so tightly that it makes the real world seem strange for a little while when you’re done watching it. Wong Kar-wai’s film (Happy Together – 78%, The Grand Master – 78%, Days of Being Wild – 90%, 2046 – 85%) reruns on Mubi and on the independent theater circuit. We remember the critical reception of the cult film that is also 20 years old. Here are the most outstanding reviews about Wishing to Love – 90%?:
Kent Jones from Movie Comment Magazine:
Wishing to Love belongs to Cheung, whose beauty lights up the film like the North Star lights up a winter sky. Cheung is one of the few modern actresses who understands her own physical beauty as an expressive instrument.
David Denby from New Yorker:
The manager so cleverly leads us into a state of breathless anticipation that when he refuses to hand over the goods, he almost seems to have invented a new form of perversion.
Jack Mathews de New York Daily News:
Desiring to Love is a love story told from the point of impact, from the heart, and no conventional resolution could be deeper.
Jake Wilson de The Age (Australia):
The settings are deliberately monotonous (narrow hallways, crowded apartments), but the colorful, fragmentary images are stunning.
Verónica Sánchez Marín in film:
The drama starring Chow Mo-Wan (Tony Leung), who seems to carry the loss of his entire nation in his lost eyes, gently introduces us into an ocean of delicacies and desires that never find crystallization. That feeling of brokenness is also accentuated by the ethereal, desolate and seductive presence of Su Lizhen (Maggie Cheung) who can span all kinds of corridors in one step. A fixed camera looks from a distance at the characters, the places they pass through, the everyday situations, as if we were observing behind a glass what happens: the glass that divides the office from the street and the curtain of water that plunges the passerby into spaces public or restaurants; the window that reveals a beyond behind the walls; the lighting that highlights the weight of nostalgia.
Scott Tobias de AV Club:
Further complemented by the gentle pause of Nat King Cole’s songs, In The Mood For Love casts a spell of dreamy and melancholy that remains uninterrupted long after the end credits have ended.
Jay Boyar de Orlando Sentinel:
It is cleverly conceived, exquisitely crafted, and perfectly acted.
Joshua Rivera de Polygon:
It’s a painfully beautiful movie, full of deep reds and lonely tight spaces, one of those stories where nothing and everything happens at once.
Sean Burns of The ARTery:
Edited in such an elliptical way that it feels like you’re remembering the movie even when you’re watching it for the first time, perhaps there has never been such a perfectly distilled description of unrequited longing.
A.S. Hamrah from The Baffler:
Desiring to Love uses slow motion to depict the peak of romance as it features green mugs, saucers and phones, red restaurant booths, dozens of dresses, ties and bags, set against rich medium browns in yellow light.
Sarah Marrs from Lainey Gossip:
Desiring to Love is just that: a state of mind, a feeling, a whim, fleeting as the population passing through Hong Kong, and as delicious as an illicit temptation.
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