Monday, January 28, 2008

Chunking Express: Movie Review

My favorite Asian director (besides Akira Kurosawa) is Wan Kar-Wai. His movies are always beautiful with the same kind of emotional depth and strangeness that I associate with Charlie Kaufman films. Chunking Express is one that I'd never seen before, and I was surprised that it had a happy ending. Wan Kar-Wai is amazing, but he doesn't usually give his characters happy endings.

In Chunking Express, two different cops are both trying to move on after being dumped. The first cop decides to fall in love with the next woman he sees, who happens to be a drug smuggler with a price on her head. The second cop's ex leaves his apartment key at a snack shop he frequents and the cute little girl who works there decides to let herself in... and generally sows chaos in his life.

The second cop is played by Tony Leung Chiu Wai who is pretty much in all of Wan Kar-Wai's movies and is my favorite Asian actor (besides Toshiro Mifune). He's such a cutie-patootie and he can handle any role I've seen him in with perfection. Plus, he runs around in his underoos a lot in this movie and that was really amusing.

Wan Kar-Wai seems to build all of his movies from a single question or concept, usually one about relationships. In Chunking Express, that concept is that you can pass within one centimeter of someone and never even notice them... or they can change your life.


Joe P. said...

I saw this back in college, and... I didn't like it. I just didn't connect with any of the characters and ended up pretty bored. Maybe I was having a bad day. I should probably give it another watch. But when I was 19, it got a thumbs down from me.

May said...

His movies definitely ask for a lot of patience from the viewer. I think if you're not ready to deal with a very to somewhat slow pace, his movies will still probably annoy and/or bore you.

Joe P. said...

Well, I did greatly enjoy "2046." Other than those two movies, I'm afraid I'm not terribly schooled in his works. Like I said, nine years later, I may have a different perspective on Chunking. But my memory of seeing it in film school... it didn't impress me nearly as much as it impressed, uh, every film lover except me. And believe me, I can handle a slow pace. I'm actually a little insulted that you're insinuating I can't. But I'm sure you didn't mean it that way. ...Or did you?

May said...

No, I didn't. I meant that since you were watching something for a class, you might not have been as down with watching something that makes time seem like its dragging on and on... So there :P

Samakshi said...

Hey May
If you like watching foreign films, I recommend you to visit the Culturazzi Website . We post regular reviews and recommendations on foreign films, theater, world music, literature and a whole lot more at the Culturazzi Club Review Section

Hope you enjoy :)
We would love to have you participate!