February 12th, 2008

Slartibartfast

My Blueberry Nights, I Am Legend, Melodies of Spring

My Blueberry Nights
My Blueberry NightsWong Kar-wai's first English language movie is a romantic movie about a young, lovesick woman (Norah Jones, who plays her part well) who enters late at night the café/bar of Jeremy (Jude Law) whom she asks if he remembers having seen her cheating boyfriend as a guest. The two start to talk about life, the universe and everything and soon her visits become a regular event. One day she doesn't return and starts a soul-searching journey across America to resolve her questions about love. On her trip she works in various bars and restaurants. At one point she encounters Arnie (David Strathairn) who has difficulties to accept that his marriage with Sue (Rachel Weisz) is long over. And while working in a casino in Nevada she encounters Leslie (Natalie Portman), a self-assured gambler who thinks she has all her opponents figured out.

The movie doesn't develop the same hypnotic fascination as WKWs previous two movies. It's much less intense so don't expect another In the Mood for Love or 2046. But of course the visuals are again the main draw and if you're interested it is strongly recommended to see it at a movie theatre since I suspect it loses much of its appeal if you watch it on a small TV screen. You not so much have to understand but feel the movies of WKW.
Most of the movie takes place during the night in the bars and restaurants and the actors are lit so that they have halos from the neon light most of the time. A lot of scenes are filmed through glass with reflections everywhere. You can get a good impression of the used colour palette by looking at the stills or by watching the trailer. In combination with the music this generates a typical dreamy WKW mood, always a bit melancholic.

It's a simple, old-fashioned love story in the form of a road movie. Some may say a little too simple. How much you will like it will probably depend on how much of a romantic you are and in what mood you're in while watching it. You don't necessarily have to be of the hopeless kind but it might helps. I liked it a lot.

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