The current paper aims to discuss the Chunking Express film directed by Wong Kar-Wai. It is essential to mention that this film is considered to be a traditional representation of different love stories that happen with people in the modern world. However, there also exists an opinion that the film is more complicated than simple romantic narrative. It seems fair to state that the director aimed to discuss the dialectical interconnection between love and loneliness in the contemporary urban life. Thus, the fundamental idea of the film is that the story of city love is inevitably connected with the problems in mutual understanding and the inability of people to overcome the limits of ego or personal worldview. As a result, there is no accurate happy ending because the rational decisions of the heroes are unstable due to the inner conflict between the existing behavioral patterns and true feelings.
Chungking Express is divided into the two separate stories, which are connected by the single place. It seems like each story has its story and character. For example, He Zhiwu Cop 223 did not understand why in this world things always expire. Consequently, he does not believe that his love has expired and still wants to keep it. He Zhiwu always says something or do something that people do not understand. For instance, when he argues with supermarket clerk about “overdue” stuff, he always comes up with some unusual quote like “Somehow everything comes with an expiry date. Swordfish expires. Meat sauce expires. Even cling-film expires. Is there anything in the world which doesn’t?”. It seems obvious that his voice is the voice of a truly lonely person.
The depiction of life made by the director helps to understand the message of the story. It is necessary to mention that the movie reveals the director Wong Kar-wai’s personal style. Director used an enormous amount of voiceover to lead the story. The voiceover and quotes became the fancy point of the film. Some people could complain that the plot is boring due to the slowness of several scenes. Nevertheless, it is impossible to deny that the director used film images of the style and details processing quality to create a bright image of the modern city with its narratives about complicated love and loneliness. The director very accurately evoked the resonance of the viewer from the sensor to express the feeling of alienation and hesitation. The life of people in the film shows that love and loneliness are coexisting, people in love never get satisfied and always ask for more. Moreover, individuals without love are jealous because of their nature.
The first scene I choose to analyze is the opening scene. In this scene, the woman with bizarre dress first come out in a narrow roadway walking through the lens. At the same time, many Indians has a wary expression on their face. The director uses the weird soundtrack to build a disturbed restless atmosphere. The camera then switches to the urban image of the extremely dark blue sky. The still shot and moving shot compare and contrast, forming a city in the feeling of indifference. Finally, He Zhiwu cop 223 starts to introduce himself. The camera shows the encounter of the woman with golden hair and He Zhiwu. Actually, that is the first time they meet each other.
The opening scene is shot in a strange way. It is possible to suggest that it was shot with the help of particular camera or under twenty-four FPS because the image seems to shift. And I realized that not only the opening scene but most scenes are shot at night or with the help of the low light to reflect character’s loneliness emotion. After the first scene, the camera jumps to He Zhiwu, who makes a phone call in front of the fast food restaurant. At the other side of the street, women with a group of Indian people are doing drug preparations. The camera moves fast splicing and shaking. The post-production has the effects of treatment combined with the Indian style fast phrase in the music, which results in a nervous feeling.
The camera then switches to He Zhiwu at the convenience store to express his feelings through long monolog. Director expresses the frustration of He Zhiwu with the unique method. Thus, in a fast food restaurant, the scene of his phone call is made with the long shot. Moreover, depth of field change and the oblique camera helped the director to express the protagonist’s depression deepened step by step. It becomes clear that the image of a dark city is beneficial in the formation of necessary emotional response.
The second scene I picked to discuss is the story of the Cop663, who is on a night patrol police. Evidently, Cop663 is an abandoned man. He fully shows what a sad, lonely man looks like. He almost lost himself in the daily routine of his work. The depiction of interconnection between loneliness and love is represented in his flirt with Faye. It is obvious that this man is not brave enough, perhaps, he is reluctant to part with old flames. When he got unlucky in love, when his girlfriend left him, he started to talk about the stuff in his house. He explained the new bar of soap that it should not let itself go because it gained weight so fast. He states such phrases as “She may have gone, but life goes on. You must stop indulging yourself. [to new towel] You’re a real disappointment to me. You’ve changed so much. You can’t just switch personality like this. Her walking out is no excuse”. It means that the hero comforts the stuff in his house just like he comforts himself. At the same time, the fixed close camera and the cool color of the picture highlight that Cop663 is sad and lonely.
It is possible to conclude that Chungking Express is a brilliant example of a narrative about the urban life of people. Most scenes in the film represent an old Hong Kong city view: chaos, dirty, mess are the things you can see in the film. Somehow I think all these elements helped the director to build a sad loneliness emotion. People might not like the character from the film eating thirty cans in one night either talking to soap or towel, but we all had a night that our stomach is convulsions once in a night, seems to hold more than thirty head of jars. And if the soaps and towels can understand words, I believe we all will have a chance talk with them all night long. Loneliness in the depths, loneliness, became armor.
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