Dear In the Mood for Love,
What are the components of your unique mood? Because right away there is something very different about you. As I look at you and let your presence wash over me, your delicate composition and subdued mannerism is captivating. Your early 60’s Hong Kong atmosphere, slow meticulous pace and brightly colored form-fitting dresses from the era lure me into… your lushness. Yes, every little detail about you harkens back to stories of old and lost filmmaking! It’s a dichotomy, kind of like a fresh homage to legendary stories of subdued romance. The Cannes Palme d’Or nod and Tony Leung Chiu Wai’s best actor win, the only Hong Kong actor to ever receive the award, seem fitting and right.
As I continue to be drawn in, it is apparent both of your participants are people of quality that have suffered something not quit right but not easily named. When you tell that it is their own spouses that have not only been unfaithful, but with one another, I see the two that are left behind strike up a platonic friendship that sees both smile and enjoy life for what seems like the first time in a long while.
Then reality frequently raises it sobering head. It is at this point when my breath is taken away by cinematography and a film score that lends weight and meaning to so many small mundane moments of living while your mind and heart are elsewhere. You paint this landscape under the surface that is all pervasive yet with unknown depths and deceptive intensity. These moments are also where the heart and style of your vision lie. It propels me along to an end that cant be good, but I am powerless in my need to know and have to go there nonetheless.
When I get to those watershed moments in the story, you show different versions of his and her reaction and you know that there is an instinctive truth in what you show that resides somewhere in the middle of the differences. It is stark, unique and powerful filmmaking and provides deep insight. Within all this is the defining reality of your budding relationship; the agreement to not become like you spouses. It’s when this accord is reached that I groan inside with an aggrieved lover’s heart. As with all similar proclamations, I know someone will love and lose. Perhaps both will, and yet still in that knowing, I have to do you the honor of following your story to the end with at least some hope for any kind of redemption.
What does come at the end seems so real to life that I can’t rail against or wholeheartedly support the outcome. It just is, much like real life just is. On the other hand, what you do to me is of a lasting nature. Our bond is enduring and there will be a small place inside me where you reside. Like a hole in side of a tree, into which you whisper your secrets and I keep them safe.
In the end, take heart in the fact that you may now be the greatest subdued romance in my heart, even eclipsing The Remains of The Day and other legends of the screen. We will meet again and I will gladly endure your melancholy to sit and spend time with you for a short while.
With Love Always And Forever,