A disillusioned killer embarks on his last hit but first he has to overcome his affections for his cool, detached partner. Thinking it's dangerous and improper to become involved with a colleague he sets out to find a surrogate for his affections. Against the sordid and surreal urban nightscape of contemporary Hong Kong, he crosses path with a strange drifter looking for her mysterious ex-boyfriend and an amusing mute trying to get the world's attention in his own unconventional ways.Written by
Perry Yu <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Wong Kar-Wai and cinematographer Christopher Doyle deliberately chose to use a lot of wide angle lenses and close shots to distinguish this from their previous collaboration Chungking Express. See more »
The Killer's Agent:
Are we still partners?
We've been business partners for nearly three years. This is the first time we've ever sat together. We hardly ever see each other. I know how hard it is for a man to control his passion. Partners shouldn't get emotionally involved with each other.
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Everything you have seen before and nothing like anything you have seen before.
One thing is for sure - it is everything you have seen before and nothing like anything you have seen before. As a Wong Kar-wai junkie, I have to admit - it is getting harder and harder to find a favorite - Fallen Angels is among the top three. In one sense I really loved Fallen Angels because it is full of the same urban angst brought up in Chungking Express. There is something utterly and strikingly gorgeous about Wong Kar-Wai's movies. The mise-en-scene and backdrops his characters inhabit in that give each scene a particular almost brooding feeling. Wong Kar-Wai's are lost and lonely in a world that is dark and full of despair. Fallen Angels is no different.
Fallen Angels' Hong Kong is alive in the evenings. One could argue that the cinematography captures a dreamlike state, pure urban neon, and erotic. In Fallen Angels we travel the gritty back alleys (reminiscent of Chunking Express) into underworld dives, dreary dive bars juxtaposed against a brightly-lit McDonalds. I have to say this... Wong Kar-wai does somewhat put me off with his product placement - but we have to finance our projects somehow, I guess.
Leon Lai's is a lazy hired killer. His portrayal, it can be argues is weighty and conjures up a sense of gaudy (almost caddy) persona. I am reminded of Yuddy in Days of Being Wild. Lai is wonderful as a contradiction of apathy and poetry. Lai plays it with a languid air. Every move is deliberate - smooth. Conversely, Michelle Reis' is his doppelganger - his manager. She is obsessed with him, becomes emotionally attached to him. I would argue that a sense of betrayal set the stage for the hit man's final demise. A nighttime ride in the back of a motorcycle with He Zhiwu (Takeshi Kaneshiro) leads me wonder is she has comes undone. Love though, and its many forms of cruelty is a recurring theme with Wong Kar-wai. Oh that sweet betrayal... He Zhiwu is a potent character. The relationship He Zhiwu develops with his father is proof positive that even in the broken world of dysfunctionality there resides a lotus from the marshes. The videotape sessions, at first almost humorous, forms yet another center of love shattered - sometimes we need to really treasure what we have lest it slip by so suddenly... he Zhiwu is a symbol of the lyricism of youth.
One has to admit, even after Chunking Express, Fallen Angels is different from any Hong Kong movie. Driven by inner monologue (much like the later much acclaimed The Follow from The Hire series) it draws one in. The languid tone and deeply erotic tale is one that will stand the test of time. Fallen Angels according to Teo takes over from where Chungking Express leaves of. I argue that it brought Chungking Express to a whole new realm. Fallen Angels is Chungking Express on steroids.
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