March 7, 2006 -- 2046 is a very sad story of love unfulfilled. It is beautifully acted and directed with haunting images of the past and future. It features terrific art direction and photography, but is very slow-moving and overlong. The story is compelling, however, and it pulls you along for this long, slow ride. Interesting characters people this truly unique vision of the future. Indeed, it is more a character study than a narrative.
Chow Mo Wan Wai (Tony Leung Chiu Wai), who is writing a science fiction novel about the future, drifts languidly through a series of shallow sexual relationships. He also drifts in and out of reality, the past, present and into the future he has imagined, a future in which painful memories can be erased and androids fill the loneliness. Among his more memorable women, a mysterious gambler (played by Gong Li) stands out. Both Leung and Gong Li are very successful veterans of Chinese cinema. Leung recently starred in the acclaimed film “Hero” and was also a star of “In the Mood for Love.” Gong Li has appeared in such acclaimed films as “To Live,” “Ju Dou” and “Memoirs of a Geisha.”
One space-time nexus explored often in the film is a seedy hotel room in Hong Kong in the late 1960s where Chow Wo Man churns out his novellas and barely makes a living. This followup to Kar Wai Wong's “In the Mood for Love” is a visual feast, and it is very emotionally moving. It features great cinematography by Christopher Doyle, great art direction by Alfred Yau Wai Ming and production design by William Chang Suk Ping. It rates a B.
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