Countdown to 2046One of the most visually stunning movies I've ever seen, 2046 tries to tie up the loose ends of two of Wong Kar Wai's earlier movies, the sublime DAYS OF BEING WILD and the glamorous IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE. Christopher Doyle has signed back on as cinematographer extraordinaire, so the scenes are beautifully saturated and the long shots are stunning.
In return for trying to tie old footage and characters in with new, he creates a piece that is too long and convoluted in the storytelling. The movie's overvoice was annoying this time around - as it tried to link the previous stories with the current footage. The best vignette being the story with characters played by Zhang ZiYi and Tony Leung as lovers/neighbors with their very quiet power struggle.
The film ostensibly follows the writer from the last sequence of DAYS OF BEING WILD, who just happens to be the married writer from IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE. IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE being the first movie of the trilogy. As the writer is recovering from heartache he meets characters from the DAYS OF BEING WILD story and is tied into how their lives were affected by that past (which he isn't a part of) at the same time he reminisces about his own past from IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE days and his subsequent time in Singapore after. Add to this his current situation in a resident hotel, the love affair with Zhang ZiYi, the landlord's daughter's (played by Faye Wong) own love affair and a book she is helping him write that takes place in 2046 and one gets a too long and very confused story.
The film almost plays like a flashback episode, there are too many references to what had happened previously and how that affects the characters now. Otherwise the story is very thin. If you haven't seen IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE and/or DAYS OF BEING WILD it might be a good idea to rent them before checking out 2046.