Published Sep 01, 2000In the Mood for Love is that type of rare film that is able to communicate the complexities of human emotion with a single gesture of its actors, a cut to an ordinary everyday item, and the lyrical vision of its camera. Set in the early '60s in a very claustrophobic Hong King, the movie tells the story of two people who live across the hall from each other and whose husband and wife have an affair with each other. Chow (Tony Leung) and Li-zhen (Maggie Cheung) turn to each other for comfort. They share a morbid desire to know how the cheating couple began their affair and to understand what they are feeling and how they are behaving. Their wishes are cruelly granted. Hong Kong director Wong Kar-wai invests every detail of his movie with meaning. In the Mood treats gestures, body movements, the proximity of one person to another and a curtain blowing in the wind with a stylistic intensity that most directors reserve only for thunder-packed action scenes. The simple act of two people passing each other on the street becomes fraught with significance and laden with an under text. The sultry mood of the narrow streets, the constant rain and the cramped apartment setting are a reflection of the characters' turmoil. The result is a deeply felt movie bound to touch its audience.