He was a writer. He thought he wrote about the future but it really was the past. In his novel, a mysterious train left for 2046 every once in a while. Everyone who went there had the same intention.....to recapture their lost memories.
It was said that in 2046, nothing ever changed. Nobody knew for sure if it was true, because nobody who went there had ever come back- except for one. He was there. He chose to leave. He wanted to change.
OK, so I saw this movie tonight. And it really made me think... About how crap a movie can actually be and still make it to the Cannes Film Festival. I mean, this was a shocker. Cringeworthy. I would have thrown the VCD out the window but I went to see it in the cinema.
What was so bad about it? The story was an interminable and confusing series of self-pitying women being laid and tossed aside by this writer guy (we have to give a shit about him because he's a WRITER) at 15 minute intervals throughout the movie. Considering the movie was about 4 hours long that was a lot. You could call that chauvanist if you wanted - actually it was just boring. That synopsis up there? Doesn't make sense, does it? Well I saw the movie and it still doesn't make sense.
The print I watched looked like each reel had been given to a different person to grade - and they'd each taken a different stab at it. The lead actor had been brutally dubbed from Cantonese into Mandarin (admittedly not Wong Kar Wai's fault, that we can lay at the feet of the infinitely wise Singapore government whose job it is to save the people of Singapore from EVIL DIALECTS).
I guess I had such a strong reaction because 2046 nearly had something great. The costumes were excellent, the sets were fantastic, the cinematography was actually fine on the reels that didn't have black levels up in the murky brown, though I think they must have skimped on the glass (was it shot anamorpic? I noticed a weird pink bloom on the highlight of some shots and that strange focus-pull squeeze that you see in anamorphic lenses). The juxtaposition of 1960s Singapore and Hong Kong against a futuristic view of Shanghai in the year 2046 could have been so cool. And throughout the film the atmosphere was there, something like The Naked Lunch crossed with Blade Runner.
I think I could have forgiven a lot of the flaws I just ranted about, but in the end the story just sucked. Period.