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Eg Essay (Not Mine)

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Chungking Express has a split plot with two separate love stories being told in chronological order. These stories of loss and longing overlap and connect – allowing the audiecene to draw parallels between the two. Key events, dreams and desires are seen to be almost identical. Chungking Express does not follow a linear model, but rather follows a very abstract plan, where cause and effect aren’t quite as evident as in many Hollywood movies. In fact, one could say that Chungking Express relies on what is deemed as ‘chance encounters’ by the viewers. David Bordwell defines the plot of Chungking Express as one that ‘is built out of a daunting number of minutely varied repetitions of locales and routines. As these cycles compare characters and situations, cause and effect become less important than parallels among congruent or contrasting aspects of love’. (2000: 283)

The sense of a constantly reoccurring ‘déjà vu’ between people and placesemerges from the start of the film. At the beginning of Chungking Express, while Cop 223 is chasing a criminal down a crowded corridor, he passes the woman who will become his love interest in the story, the ‘Blonde Woman’, announcing in voice-over that, ‘at our closest point, we were just 0.01cm apart from each other. Fifty-five hours later, I was in love with this woman’. At the end of the first ‘love’ story, after Cop 223 has received the Blonde Woman’s paged birthday message, he enters the Midnight Express where he bumps into Faye and this then launches the next love story, with the voice-over, ‘six hours later she fell in love with another man’ – once again drawing perfect symmetry.

All four of the main characters appear briefly in the first love story of the film, providing “poetic instances and connections of lovers looking, longing, desperate for the hance encounter that will, might or possibly could change their destinies forever.” The ‘other man’, Cop 663, is introduced in the film ordering fish and chips for his airhostess girlfriend, a change from the chef’s salad that he would usually order for her. The reference to chef’s salad mirror Cop 223’s eating of four chef’s salads the night he sat by the Blonde Woman as she sleeps.

Water, tears and rain are recurring symbols in both love stories. Cop 223 goes running to get over his broken heart, because ‘running evaporates bodily fluid so there’s none left for tears’. The Blonde Woman wears a raincoat because she thinks ‘it will rain’, summing up “her own melancholic cry as she walks alone in the brooding Hong Kong cityscape.” In the second love story, Cop 663 claims his towel is ‘weeping’, and when the flat is flooded he thinks that he has “been caught in a tidal wave of remorse and melancholy”.

Wong Kar-Wai, ensure to use both subtle and very obvious connections between the two movies, which enables him to further capture the attention of the audience. This technique also tends to, at times, confused the viewers as they come to expect the love stories to end in a similar manner, but instead – Kar-Wai flips it around. Chungking Express perfectly reflects a movie that has been deeply thought out, and one that uses a flawless balance of script, sound, lighting, and narrative possibilities to engage an audience and keep them guessing until the last moments.

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