Friday, February 25, 2022

By Kat Trout

In Wong Kar Wai’s Chungking Express, the unpredictability and vastness of love are visualized through two interconnected relationships. In the first story, Cop 223 marks the expiration of his past relationship with the purchasing of pineapple cans. His purchasing of said cans leads to a greater point of the story– the grandness of time. Numbers are extremely sensitive in this world— the closeness of a date or a person can change the trajectory of life. Faye fell in love with Cop 663 hours after bumping into Cop 223. She then left him a paper with an exact date, enticing him to wait for her. Cop 223 put everything on May 1st. He waited for that deadline to move on, to let go of his youth and his love. Deadlines exist outside of the cinematic frame as well–the film takes place only a few years before Hong Kong was transferred from the UK to China. The film works off of this– its love stories work through a world of end-dates. A date for an unknown governmental future, a date for expired love, and a date for a future encounter. Chungking Express is not only a love story but a piece of history. With so much happening in a city, the pan-in on two love stories emphasizes how much happens around us. We are all connected— we impact each other more than we realize. We are part of each other’s adoration, joy, loss, and overall life. We love while time moves and the world changes around us. The best thing we can do is live and go on living. Chungking Express is the most honest film about love. It is fleeting, it is blurry, and it is emotive. Through his cinematic lens, Wong Kar-Wai will remind you how similar we are– we all are on a quest for love.