By Utpal Borpujari
Hong Kong auteur Wong Kar Wai has provoked movie lovers worldwide with his very individualistic style of cinema. That he is one of the most original voices in contemporary world cinema is a fact that does not demand reiteration, but to viewers in India, his films have remained largely inaccessible outside the film festival / film society circuit.
So, when one gets the access to four of his most celebrated movies at one go, along with his favourite cinematographer Christopher Doyle’s first directorial venture, it’s celebration time for film lovers. This box set of five films does exactly that.
Each of the films in the set exhibit Wong Kar Wai’s masterly control over themes dealing with relationships. Be it the 1997 Cannes best director award-winning Happy Together that brought gay love to centre stage of Hong Kong cinema much before Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain did in Hollywood, or “In the Mood for Love”, which in 2000 won the Best Actor prize for Tony Leung Chiu-wai and the Technical Grand Prize for Christopher Doyle, Lee Ping-bing, William Chang at Cannes, it is a journey that is emotionally worthwhile.
The third film, “Chungking Express”, is again about relationships, and Wong’s masterly control of the medium is evident in the way he weaves together to completely unrelated stories through a series of fleeing images. “Fallen Angels” actually was the third segment of the “Chungking Express” story that finally got fleshed out as a separate film altogether. Doyle’s “Away with Words” brings up the finale of the set, and it provides the perfect foil to Wong’s films.
The set comes with the added attraction of one Indian short film in each DVD: Jill Misquitta’s Joyce, Madan Bavaria’s Suman, Rajula Shah’s Do Hafte Guzarte Do Hafte Nahin Lagte, Sriram Raghavan’s The Eight Column Affair and Rajat Kapoor’s Hypnothesis. A collector’s edition, nothing less.
Wong Kar Wai Box Set; Palador / Moser Baer; Rs 1,995