Hong Kong - a huge city with millions of people, but everyone's living a solitary life. On the streets of Hong Kong people only pass each other in a hurry everyday. They never stop, they never talk, they only make some daily small talks with random people, which are immediately forgotten. Kai War Wong presents two short novels about two men living their lonely lives in the city. Two stories about two different men dealing with their breakups and falling in love all over again. The only thing that somehow connects them to each other is the fact, that they're both policemen and they both tend to eat dinner at the same kebab shop almost every day. Another common factor in both men lives is alienation. The movie begins with a story of Cop 223, who’s broken up with his girlfriend. He's deeply overwhelmed by the loneliness. It's an incredibly sad story in contrast to the second one. The other half of the movie leaves us with a hope for the future. It tells a story about Cop 663, who tried to survive in a long distance relationship, as his girlfriend is a flight attendant. He's full of hopes all the time, even though deep down he's aware of the fact she left him.
“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?
“If memories could be canned, would they also have expiry dates?
If so, I hope they last for centuries.”
They try to fulfill the emptiness in a different, however both funny ways. Cop 223 purchases a tin of pineapples with an expiration date of May 1 each day for a month. It's amazing how many smart thoughts we can hear from a man reflecting on a tin. Cop 663, on the other hand, talks to his apartment furnishing.
You mustn't let yourself go. You've gained weight so fast.
She may have gone but life goes on. You must stop indulging yourself.
[to new bar of soap]
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.
[to new towel]
"Chungking Express" is one of Quentin Tarantino's favourite movies. A very interesting thing he said about it in an interview is the fact, that War Kai Wong wasn't really planning on doing this movie. At this time he was working on his other masterpiece "Ashes of Time". Creation of this movie, from filming to editing, took him plenty of time. Which is why, he decided that he needs to make something else before he finishes it. He wanted to make a quick, lively story just to get some time off working on the main movie. You can clearly see that intention in "Chungking Express", as Tarantino says - "the film has this kind of go for it, jumpy energy". You can definitely see that in many different aspects of the movie. The main aspect is cinematography. The use of it is very interesting and different from usual. The whole movie consists of tracking shots with a hand held camera, what makes it unique and incredibly nice to look at. From the first scene we can see how the action is being chased by camera. All shots are very claustrophobic and beautifully coloured. It makes us feel as we're in Hong Kong and we're a part of the plot. What is also amazing in the movie is that, although the story may seem simple it's full of wisdom, that changes its simplicity. It's a movie very easy on the eye, but at the same time it has a psychological impact on the viewers.
Another attractive aspect of "Chungking Express" is the soundtrack and the dietetic music in the movie. The song California Dreaming by The Mamas & the Papas is being played many times over and over again. It gives us this incredible energy and the feeling of happiness. It's an interesting contrast, because the movie brings up an unpleasant subject of loneliness, but it's made in a very friendly atmosphere.
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