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Fallen Angels ( Duoluo Tianshi)

Director: Wong Kar-Wai


Wong Chi-Ming (Leon Lai) is a Hong kong hitman who, tired of the wounds incurred at work, decides to break his partnership with the agent (Michele Reis) who hires and (unbeknownst to Wong) loves him; when he meets the punkish ‘Baby’ (Karen Mok), there’s a small chance his loneliness will come to an end, but the agent is still keen to revive their relationship. Meanwhile, mute ex-con He Zhiwu (Takeshi Kaneshiro), who makes a living by opening up shops closed for the night, meets up with Charlie (Charlie Young); as he tries to help hunt down her former boyfriend’s new lover, he falls for Charlie himself, but after she disappears, he fills his time by shooting videos of his flophouse-proprietor father…
As determinedly offbeat, stylish and audacious as Days of Being wild or Chungking Express, Wong Kar-Wai’s latest film is yet another poignant but occasionally playful study in forlorn romance and melancholy solitude. Again, we’re entranced by the good-looking twentysomethings (complete with confessonal voice-overs) struggling to make it through the night in the neon-lit streets, bars and diners of a Hong Kong rendered magically moody by the extreme wide-angle shots of Chris Doyle’s superbly fluid camera. Again, too, as the film alternates between its two stories, we may marvel at the percussive editing, the emotional evocative use of music, and the way Wong kar-Wai deploys a variety of visual tropes – slow and fast motion, black and white and lurid colour – with surprising coherence. Some may be disconcerted by the enigmatic opening sequences and the sudden shifts in tone, but the cumulative effect is quite exhilarating and, in the end, unexpectedly touching.

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