Mar 6, 2007

Turns Out Lonely People Are All The Same

Happy Together is a movie I've been planning to watch ever since Brokeback Mountain, that is, for quite some time. In the meantime I saw In the Mood For Love and 2046 (quotes here), which both swept me off my feet and fanned my imagination. Quite predictably, this one did too.

It starts with an explicit gay sex scene which I saw repeatedly because I didn't have time, so I watched the movie in pieces, on three consecutive days, and always started over from the beginning. On the third watching I realized the two men were not having sex, but making love. If you don't know the difference, I can't explain it. (It is claimed Tony Leung Chiu Wai did not know of the sex scene at the time of signing the contract, as he had been given a fake script.)

As the movie progresses, you find it is not about homosexual love at all. It is about the human condition, alienation and loneliness, about the desire to belong - to a person or to a place. Two lovers want to start over after a number of break-ups and move from Hong Kong to Argentina - on the opposite side of the globe. The plan ends in disaster, as they break up again, and the simple story tells of the impossibility to be together. Some more memorable scenes for me: when they tangoed in the kitchen, when they rode in the night taxi (there was a similar scene in 'In the mood for love'), and when they negotiated who will sleep on the bed and who on the sofa. There is so much jealousy, hopelessness, and melancholy arising from love, that it's hardly worth the effort.

I would recommend it to all art types who like black-and-white/color play, non-standard cuts, and great acting. Me, I'd rather give in to the emotion.

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