Chungking Express: It is not just a typical Asian cinema

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Just two days ago, I was attending my last film studies lecture and this Hong Kong film is screened. I was shocked that I am so glued into this film that I just could not let go of the plot, narrative, themes, characters, music and the mise-en-scene. I have known to love Hong Kong dramas but never so much of films. Typical Hong Kong movies during the 90’s are mostly comedies and martial art themed which Wong Kar Wei wish to produce something else. 

Chungking Express is now one of my best films to be watched. It is just amazing. I will probably watch it many times just because of many factors. When you hear the song “California Dreams”, you would never stop reminiscing the scene where Faye gestures her hand and dance along with the music. It is also the quirky and humor elements that adds onto the simplicity of the narrative, making it such a WOW factor for the audiences  

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Takeshi Kaneishiro as Cop 223 on the run. The camera captures his intense running, which the motion is not taken accordingly to the rules of cinematography. The film shots are definitely something that makes Chungking Express unique in a different way.

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Faye is not a stalker, just that ‘love’ sometimes unconsciously made you into someone that seems to be foolish but I still like how the story flow with her helping Tony to redecorate the home, clean his home and replace all his items. Who would do that nowadays? So unrealistic but it is entertaining. Faye’s hair is so boyish but you can still see her feminism and normal action of how a girl purely would love a boy.

Never have I know that films from the past are actually better than some movies in this period. No matter how different it is of the cinematic techniques, the production team is still able to produce top class film with a few of mambo-jumbo. Some people may argue that:” It is not about the story but more of the characters!” I totally agree with the fact that the characters are the central motif of the film. There wasn’t much of plot, yet it touches us with two simple love stories.

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Chungking Express contains two different stories that happen at the same time which interestingly two female characters respectively do not know each other, yet standing at the same spot in one of the scenes.

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Tony Leung as Cop 663 often dropped by at the midnight snack bar where Faye Wong works. This scene depicts the time of avoiding and waiting. Tony’s ex- girlfriend left a letter in the Midnight Snack Bar for Tony and Faye who falls in love with Tony is trying to pass the letter to him. Yet in the end, Tony did not retrieve the letter even after finishing his coffee. I love the way Faye and Tony often exchange glances with each other.

 

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The two stories are divided, but we can still see the indifference of it. Bridgette Lin and Takeshi both encounter with one another in a bar, chatting and drinking. Faye Wong fell asleep in Tony’s house when he invited her in. Not wanting to wake her up, Tone fell asleep too. The love element is not obvious but you can tell the relationship between characters and how fate has bought them together simultaneously.

It is good to adapt yourself into various kinds of cinema as you will never know what you can learn. It may be culture, locations, dialogues, expression, scenes, camera movements, editing process and characters personality. Chungking express explain how time is such a mystify subject that we significantly do not take notice. Many unexpected events that occur do not just coincidence, the right time has to justify such circumstances. How Takeshi in the film explains that he hopes love will never expire so his relationship life span can be forever. He uses the expiry dates on canned food to signify the scenario. Genuinely, Chungking Express is a must watch film that inspires you in great depth on emotions, thoughts and perspective in life. It also represents a postcard of Hong Kong as the shooting locations are all renown suburbs, streets and alley. These setting show the messy, threatening, hustle and bustle city life. 

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