24 January 2005, early morning

Wong Kar Wai is infamous for shooting and re-shooting movies. When I had first heard of the 2046, the film was supposed to be a look at Hong Kong in 2046, 50 years after it had gone back to the Chinese. I can tell you that the film is really nothing like that at all. I won’t say anything else about the plot; I think watching this movie knowing nothing about it will make it more enjoyable.

Like all of Wong Kar Wai’s film, the major themes in 2046 seem to be those of lost or unrequited love, and the loneliness that comes from that. The film focuses on Tony Leung, and the relationships he has with a few women. This film has a stellar cast; in addition to Tony Leung, the film features: Gong Li, Carina Lau, Zhang Ziyi, and my favourite signer, Faye Wong. The acting is all first class. The film is very similar to In the Mood for Love in terms of its overall style. It can be seen as a sort of unofficial sequel to the film, much like how Fallen Angels can be seen as an unofficial sequel to Chungking Express. I don’t think you need to watch In the Mood for Love to appreciate 2046, but I think 2046 is a bit more rich if you have done so. Christopher Doyle is the cinematographer of the film, and has once again done a great job with the visual side of the movie. Doyle has filmed most, if not all, of Wong Kar Wai’s films, and is probably the one of the best cinematographers in Hong Kong. Each shot in the film is exquisite.

I’m a very big Wong Kar Wai fan, so this review is probably quite biased. I think the film is worth checking out, but I won’t pretend his movies are for everyone. This film is slow, light on plot, confusing at times, and fairly depressing; just my sort of film.

The official 2046 web site



  1. Another theme you could include is the nature of memory, which is addressed in the way the film is structured.

    I knew very little about 2046 before watching it. All I knew was that it was the new Wong Kar Wai film and it took a long time to make. I had certain expectations based on what little I knew and it defied those. I wasn’t disappointed however.

    There is really no story, it’s all about characters and ‘moments’, which works better than it might sound. Besides the performances, the visual style is a strong point and it would be worth just looking at stills if you don’t want to watch the movie.

    One more thing, if you don’t really like ‘art films’ and don’t have a lot of patience, you probably won’t enjoy 2046.

  2. Watching some of the special features, I would like to say that Zhang Ziyi is amazing; she is an excellent actress and a really hot woman.

  3. Here are some really hi res stills from the movie:


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