Saturday, May 27, 2006


2046 is movie by Wong Kar Wai from Hong Kong. I watched the movie quite a while ago, and was stunned with how well the director merged storytelling with movie directing to give the audience this masterpiece. The story blends the past, present and some future elements about the leading character’s relationship with several women, with each relationship ended in regrets and sorrows. I couldn’t really catch what the story was about in the first ten minutes, but as I watched on, the story starts to take shape and I as the audience got really immersed into the movie. There were many repeating lines in the movies but as I watch on, I found that these lines have different meanings in different scenes, which astonished me of how creative the director played with the audience mindset in following the story.

The cast of the movie consist of famous stars, like Tony Leung, Maggie Cheung, Gong Li, Ziyi Zhang, Faye Wong, Carina Lau and many more. However, the movie is good for me not because of the huge names, but because of the story. 2046 in the movie is a sci-fi novel created by the leading character, Tony Leung who played as a writer. When I first heard about the movie, I used to think that it was about the future, but what Wong Kar Wai creatively did, was to relate the sci-fi novel with Tony Leung’s own story, tween both of them back and forth, and amazed the audience with how well all of these scenes are connected.

The tagline of the movie goes like this, “In the future there is a train that takes people to the year 2046. Most passengers who board the train to 2046 have the same objective, which is to retrieve their lost memory. They say that everything is static in 2046, but no one can be sure of that, because those who go to 2046 never return…” Although the novel is about the future, it is actually a reflection of Tony Leung’s own life experience, especially with the women he had relationship with. Even the title 2046 is a reference to the hotel room next to Tony Leung’s when he was writing the story. The room is occupied by different women at different times, including Carina Lau, Ziyi Zhang, Takuya Kimura, and Faye Wong. All of them had certain love-hate relationship with Tony Leung, and ended up as one of the many characters in the novel Tony Leung was writing at that time.

Each of the relationship was not successful, as love happens at the wrong time with the wrong person. The audience can identify for Tony Leung and his partner what went wrong with their relationship, but can just sigh at the screen. The movie ended with no happy-ever-after stuff and I kept on thinking that if the character would do something at certain moment, then those relationships would have fruited. Anyway, Wong Kar Wai never directed Cinderella or Snow White.

Other elements of the movie, like the photography, soundtrack, and the overall environment created are unbeatable as well. It shows that antiquity of Hong Kong’s society in the 50s. At some point, I sort of feel that the director is also showing the emptiness of the people’s soul as most of their night life were spent in night clubs, womanizing and ‘socializing’.

I strongly recommend this movie to all of you. Some may not be able to accept the movie, since you can’t really leave the screen till the very end of the movie if you want to know what it is all about. Don’t expect to watch the first half of the movie today, and watch the other half some time later, as you won’t get the same felling anymore. For those who are getting bored with the commercial Hollywood type love movie, you should watch 2046, and perhaps you would feel the same as me as well.

Images are from Sony Picture Classics: 2046

Takuya Kimura

Faye Wong

Tony Leung with Ziyi Zhang

Ziyi Zhang & Tony Leung

Ziy Zhang

Gong Li

Maggie Cheung