Happy Together vividly paints an honest and turbulent romance between two characters madly yet impatiently in love. Wong Kar-wai’s vibrant style is able to capture both greyscale and colour as the film depicts volatile intimacy.
The two travel to Argentina starting anew in hopes of saving their relationship and to escape their past in Hong-Kong. The film opens with Ho and Lai at the peak of their affection but fight soon after and break up again. Ho’s self-destructive nature enables him to drink excessively and flaunt casual sexual encounters in front of Lai to either gain his attention or to spite him. However, they start a new cycle of their romance when Ho turns up to Lai’s door beaten, empty and in need of him. When things start to turn sour again, Lai befriends and takes a liking to a co-worker named Chang. The film ambiguously depicts Chang’s sexuality suggesting a choice for Lai to either continue his intense love/hate spell with Ho or to seek out something new.
The bittersweet impression throughout most of the film lies in the eventual outcome both the audience and even Lai knows - that some things just won’t work out. The bleak and honest undertones of Lai’s narration suggest a reality separate from a fairy-tale or the classic ending we all root for. This also helps paint authentic characters whose unbound attraction for each other feel achingly real. It captures a romance so truly and painfully it almost makes you reconsider loving again.
director WONG KAR-WAI
director of photography CHRISTOPHER DOYLE
cast TONY LEUNG CHIU WAI, LESLIE CHEUNG, CHEN CHANG, GREGORY DAYTON and NG MAN-TAT
words RAYHAN RAFIQUE
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