Wong Kar-Wai's movie about two love-struck cops is filmed in impressionistic splashes of motion and color…
Release Year: 1994
Rating: 8.0/10 (21,434 voted)
Kar Wai Wong
Stars: Brigitte Lin, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Tony Leung Chiu Wai
Wong Kar-Wai's movie about two love-struck cops is filmed in impressionistic splashes of motion and color. The first half deals with Cop 223, who has broken up with his girlfriend of five years. He purchases a tin of pineapples with an expiration date of May 1 each day for a month. By the end of that time, he feels that he will either be rejoined with his love or that it too will have expired forever. The second half shows Cop 663 dealing with his breakup with his flight attendant girlfriend. He talks to his apartment furnishings until he meets a new girl at a local lunch counter.
Woman in blonde wig
(as Ching-hsia Lin)
Tony Leung Chiu Wai
He Zhiwu, Cop 223
Manager of 'Midnight Express'
(as Guan Lina)
The 2nd May
If my memory of her has an expiration date, let it be 10,000 years…
Release Date: 8 March 1996
Filming Locations: Hong Kong, China
Did You Know?
Kaneshiro Takeshi spoke four languages himself in this film. His narrations were all in Mandarin, most of his live lines are in heavily-accented Cantonese, he spoke Japanese when he called one of his ex-girlfriends, and had one line of English when he apprehended a suspect (he said "hands up!" to him). He used all 4 when he approached Bridgett Lin's character.
The woman in the blonde wig had no apparent opportunity to get the beeper number except from Cop 223 himself the night before, and he wouldn't have started to abandon his beeper as useless if he had just given someone new the number.
He Zhiwu, Cop 223:
At the high point of our intimacy, we were just 0.01cm from each other. I knew nothing about her. Six hours later, she fell in love with another man.
Express Chungking Express
Every day we interact with people. Within the course of 24 hours we
influence someone's life (for better or worse) so deeply that they will
never forget us. Is it possible that the next person you fall in love with
could be a notorious heroin smuggler or the counter girl at the express
luncheonette counter? Wong Kar-Wai, the writer/director of Chungking
Express seems to think so.
The film is broken into two tales. The first story is mainly about the
sadder side of love. Love comes and brings us light and joy, but it also
goes and leaves us feeling empty and needing fulfillment. The two main
characters in this half of the film, a police officer played dolefully by
Takeshi Kaneshiro, and a heroin smuggler played icily by Bridgitte Lin,
interact for only ten percent of the story, but their meeting leaves them
both with memories that will last life time. The story ends on a high note
that shows us that a simple act of kindness can bring the most unreceptive
people to appreciate the beauty hidden in life.
The second (and far stronger) story centers around two people and their
interaction at a fast food counter in the Kwaloon section of Hong Kong.
Tony Leung plays the part of a rejected lover perfectly and gives of the
of being sad without ever really being pathetic. Faye Wang's quirky
portrayal of the free-spirited counter girl who helps Leung forget about
ex-girlfriend, is exactly what the film needed to counter-balance its
first half. These characters and their bizarre relationship illustrates
that love can manifest itself in any number of ways, many of them
The mechanism that allows these seemingly disjointed stories together
the camera work. Wong Kar-Wai uses a decidedly unique filming technique
much of the first half of the film; a blurry hand-held technique (think
Blaire Witch on drugs) used during the chase scenes. The recurring style
the second half is a time-lapse type shot with people around the main
subjects moving very fast and the subjects themselves moving in slow motion
(a really cool effect). The camera styles add a common surreal element to
each of the stories, while still keeping them somewhat
Perhaps the most striking element of the film is the interconnectedness
of the characters and situations. There are many establishing shots
characters inhabiting the same places at different times, and even the same
places at the same times without noticing each other. This style of
can alter the viewer's perception of reality, daring us to believe that we
are all extras in somebody else's movie.