Saturday, February 27, 2010

Visualising Emotion: My Blueberry Nights

 My very very first with Wong Kar Wai. I have heard so much about his style of film, his perspective on love, the beauty of the visual word, the lingering moment...  And yet I haven’t seen any of his films that are the most famous, ie In the Mood for Love and Chung King Express.

I wanted J to get me My Blueberry Nights first because I liked the premise of the story… of broken hearts, many nights, a trip in search for yourself, a café owner and the untouched blueberry pie. And I can’t write about the movie much. Writing about it will, I feel, somewhat kill the spell of beauty that the movie must needs cast on the first time watcher.

There’s nothing spectacular about the film, no crackling performances, nor even a sharp and memorable script. But there is this obsession with feeling, an ability to take emotion out of the insides of human consciousness, and display it, in all its glorious colours, in the cinematic medium. For, the colours are so much a part of the experience. The warmth of attraction, to the cool glow of rejection, the illusions of Vegas, all find their place in the haze of neon that makes up so much of the film. There is the ‘moment’ too… every moment in the film is held up, looked at lovingly, lingered over, as you would with a glass of good wine, before you move to the next. Every moment in the film is thus a moment to be loved and lived and enjoyed… an experience like none other.

I liked some of the ideas too… like, using an in-café camera (not quite your happy, blurry CCTV, but a nice, clear one) as a diary of sorts… to look over with as much of affection as you would your own back pages… and the entire metaphor of keys and open doors.

My favourite quotes:

Elizabeth: [wiping her tears] How do you say goodbye to someone you can't imagine living without?

Katya: Sometimes, even if you have the keys those doors still can't be opened. Can they?
Jeremy: Even if the door is open, the person you're looking for may not be there, Katya.

[last lines]
Elizabeth: It took me nearly a year to get here. It wasn't so hard to cross that street after all, it all depends on who's waiting for you on the other side.