13

First of all, the movie was incredibly difficult for me to follow. Contrary to the way Wong Kar wai directed 2046, which was just as confusing in places but always backed up by narration, In The Mood For Love is pure dialogue.

I had to watch it about 10 times before I really followed what was going on and the ending still makes me go, WHAT?

CAMBODIA, 1966

The presidential corps waits at Pochentong Airport. Prince Norodom Sihanouk and Queen Sisowath Kossamak come forward to greet General De Gaulle.

It's ten kilometers from Pochentong to Phnom Penh.

200,000 people line the route.

A welcome unprecedented in the history of the kingdom.

He remembers those vanished years.

As though looking through a dusty window pane, the past is something he could see, but not touch.

And everything he sees is blurred and indistinct.

What's the point of all that historical detail about Cambodia? Is there a point?

3

It is helpful to remember that this film was produced right around the time that Hong Kong was passing from British rule back to the Chinese (1999). In this light, the entire film can be seen as a metaphor for the relationship between Britain and Hong Kong - a fleeting love affair that was always doomed to fail but where perhaps they couldn't help falling in love.

The prince that the text and the stock footage is about is a prince who ruled, was disposed and left the country and then returned once again to rule. In this way, he parallels the returning Chinese government. The famous ruins at the end therefore carry several meanings representing the ruins of their love, a nostalgia for a time gone (the idealized 60's of the film) and British Hong Kong.

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2

In September 1966, Charles De Gaulle gave a famous speech in Phnom Penh (Cambodia). He expressed France's disapproval of the US involvement in Vietnam (preceding Nixon by 7 years) and he called for a US withdrawal from Vietnam as the only way to ensure peace. So the director MAY be making a political statement about how the war lasted seven years beyond what imperialist France wished.....

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