Film Review: Fallen Angels (1995) by Wong Kar-wai

For individuals who have watched Wong Kar-wai’s 1994 characteristic “Chungking Categorical” his following characteristic “Fallen Angels” is at instances thought of one thing like an addition to the prior story, particularly for the reason that director himself has acknowledged he needed to incorporate it because the third section in “Chungking Categorical”. Nonetheless, Wong Kar-wai determined to go in a unique path, ensuing within the choice to make this a stand-alone characteristic, which, nonetheless, is in some ways, story-wise and aesthetically, related to “Chungking Categorical”. Ultimately, “Fallen Angels” explores a few of the identical themes because the director’s 1994 characteristic, for instance the picture of town as a maze of obsessions, whereas additionally coping with the darker facet of utmost feelings, resulting in isolation and rejection, thus including one other layer to his view on the dichotomy of man and metropolis.

Fallen Angels” is streaming on MUBI Malaysia

The story revolves round three foremost characters. The primary one we meet is Wong Chi-ming (Leon Lai), a hitman who works for various purchasers and doesn’t care a lot for the implications of his bloody deeds. Having no buddies and no household, he lives a solitary life in his crammed house near the underground railway, and whereas he’s out fulfilling a contract or having a meal, largely at one of many native fast-food chain eating places, his “Accomplice” (Michelle Reis) cleans his house, buys some groceries (largely beer) and cleans his fax machine. Sine her shopper retains to himself, she has been going via his trash, making an attempt to get to know what sort of particular person he’s and thus has develop into considerably obsessive about him. Nonetheless, as she finds out Wong is in a relationship with a hooker named Blondie (Karen Mok), the Accomplice turns into jealous.

Apart from this story, we additionally observe the lifetime of Ho Chi-mo (Takeshi Kaneshiro), whose household initially comes from Taiwan and has had frequent hassle with the authorities due to his unorthodox methods of constructing a residing, opening shops and stalls which have closed down for the day and promoting no matter items they’ve left on their cabinets. Throughout his nightly escapades, he runs into a woman named Charlie (Charlie Yeung), who has been making an attempt to get again along with her ex-boyfriend Johnny. As he helps her discover the mysterious Blondie, who apparently is Johnny’s new flame, he falls in love with Charlie, who’s grateful for his firm however nothing extra.

One of many recurring themes in Wong Kar-wai’s filmography is the idea of the journey. Supported by the cinematography by Christopher Doyle together with the modifying by William Chang and Ming Lam Wong, we get to fulfill characters and encounter locations which have develop into disconnected from a selected cultural, social or political context as a result of their which means is outlined via the eyes of the digicam, the narrative and thru numerous photos, even flashbacks. Thus, the characters have develop into free brokers, void of any definitive roots or, like Ho and his father, disconnected from them. Their journey via the streets, much like the characters in films made by the administrators of the French New Wave, creates this new which means, these new associations and connections, making every encounter and likewise viewing fairly distinctive. Even essentially the most mundane of locations, corresponding to a fast-food restaurant with its row of empty chairs modifications into the potential for romance or at the least an unforgettable encounter.

One other characteristic which makes every viewing of “Fallen Angels” in addition to “Chungking Categorical” distinctive is the creative use of area, how it’s outlined via the characters. Particularly within the trendy metropolis, the divide between the non-public and the general public area has develop into suspended, making town in Wong Kar-wai’s options not only a place to discover but in addition to occupy. For the characters, there isn’t a such factor as house and consequently no particular roots, as they must outline their very own life and area by occupying these of others. Much like Faye in “Chungking Categorical” Michelle Reis’ character occupies the house of her shopper as a technique to categorical her eager for closeness and romance, whereas sustaining her distance. In all probability essentially the most creative, in addition to humorous technique to make one other particular person’s area his personal is how Takeshi Kaneshiro’s character makes himself a retailer proprietor for just some hours, leading to a few of the most hilarious scenes when he forces himself and the merchandise upon his costumers, additionally exhibiting the sort of bodily comedy and playfulness the actor brings to this character.

In conclusion, “Fallen Angels” is a superb characteristic, mixing components of romance, drama and comedy. Christopher Doyle’s wonderful cinematography mixed with the modifying, its marvelous solid and the best way Wong Kar-wai offers with difficult themes in such a playful, creative and entertaining method make the film a real pleasure to look at.

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