2046; Romantic drama, China, 2004; D: Wong Kar-Wai, S: Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Li Gong, Faye Wong, Takuya Kimura, Zhang Ziyi, Carina Lau
A man is driving in a futuristic train to 2046. He is the only person who ever returned from it. He tells one person how he fell in love with a female android who reminded him of his big love, but figured she doesn't feel anything...That's the synopsis of the SF story "2046" that was written by Chow. He is a womanizer who lives in Hong Kong in the 1960's, where he meets an old friend from Singapore, Lulu. She gets murdered in her hotel room number 2046. Chow decides to move to the neighboring room, 2047. When dancer Bai Ling moves to 2046, he starts a relationship with her, but figures he can't love anyone anymore, so their romance breaks up. Still, he teams up with Jing Wen, the daughter of the hotel owner and writes stories with her, yet she decides to marry another man. He also had a fling with Su Li Zhen.Almost as some sort of a sequel to his overstretched movie "In the Mood for Love", romantic drama with a subplot SF story, "2046" is also rather overstretched, but honest, unusual and deeply emotional piece of work that shows how director Wong Kar-Wai is an original author who works more through the subconscious than through the rational ways of cinema. The triple relationships the womanizing hero Chow goes through are never as poetic as they should be, yet they all show how he has bad luck in love and use neat little tricks to craft the film as a whole. Charming actress Zhang Ziyi is once again brilliant, here in the role of one of Chow's girlfriends, who stands out the most in the scene where she mischievously pinches him in bed to make him more "active", whereas the small SF story set in train heading towards 2046 - actually a visualisation of Chow's story he writes - incorporates neat ideas, like the fact that psychedelic colors can be seen through the windows of the speeding train, and female androids, but also uses future to explain the past, namely Chow's present state in the 1960's. Kar-Wai could have made a more imaginative and substantial film, but as it is "2046" stands out for it's sheer enthusiasm.