204618 Dec 2016
2046, for better or for worse, will always exist in comparison to In The Mood For Love, and to a lesser extent, “Days of Being Wild”. This probably clouds any reviewers ability to fully consider the film on its own. It also doesn’t help that Wong Kar-wai made 2046 as a beguiling, moody, story-within-a-story-within-a-story, series of vignettes, that are difficult to understand as a whole but intriguing to consider each on its own.
However, any sort of narrative description or explication of this film’s plot, likely misses the point. Wong is, like the greatest film-makers of our time, primarily interested in using visuals, images, composition and colors to tell stories, not words. The visual vocabulary, including elements of noir, slow-motion used to great effect, set and costume design that deserves an exploration all its own, and framing of the characters to highlight their inner lives is paired with story telling that jumps around in time (like memory) and is guided by a narrator (who changes identity part way through the film) to create a challenging, but rewarding film-viewing experience.
Yes, 2046 falls slightly short of the incredibly high mark set by In The Mood For Love. But that is hardly any reason to diminish the accomplishments of this film. Wong Kar-wai is a masterful visual artist, film-maker and story-teller.