September 3, 2005
This movie has been both praised and damned... as a Wong Kar-Wai worshiper I went in with high expectations.
For me it was a lovely mess, painfully beautiful visually but almost haphazard in it's storytelling. It's really a collection of short stories held together more by the mood than narrative. But at some point I just stopped caring about the overall story and just enjoyed drinking in the visual lushness of each scene and the tangible melancholy of each shot. Tony Leung is top notch as usual, but this film belongs to Zhang Ziyi who is heartbreakingly good. Faye Wong & Gong Li's performances seem almost inert by comparison. The problem for me was unlike In the Mood For Love a film whose melancholy added up to an emotional punch, 2046 left me thinking about the actual filmmaking... admiring the sets, wardrobe & photography, wishing the writing had been sharper, and wondering how I would have re-organized the film to make it add up to something that didn't break my suspension of disbelief.