China / Cantonese
"Where everything ends... and begins (Spanish translation)
"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...
Lullaby...go to sleep....
In 1966, in Hong Kong, a writer holes himself up in a hotel room and
writes an erotic sci-fi novel set in the year 2046 where he is
channeling his feelings on past loves and romances that always ended
tragically. The central conceit of trying to relive or recreate past
emotions to no satisfying end is a powerful one. "2046" wants to really
make the viewer ache for love lost or unrequited. It does this first
with a beautiful soundtrack of classical themes, pop songs (Nat King
Cole's rendition of "The Christmas Song" is put to especially good use
here), and a searing original score. It does it secondly with
exquisitely constructed and framed moving images. This is one of those
movies where the stills could be sold in fine art galleries.
Unfortunately for all it's finely detailed points, characterization is
paper thin, and the futuristic stuff about pretty female androids
developing human emotions is as cheesy and silly as it sounds and
looks. In the end, I felt no emotional connection to the characters,
their stories, and the beautiful images with which they were encased.
The mobius dream-like structure (which has been used so well in the
movies of Terrence Malick and David Lynch) is wasted on shallow and
vague motives and as a result almost lulled me to sleep. The great
music is the only thing that kept me awake to enjoy some of the
imagery. There's a lot of play with numerology, and I really wanted
this to be some artistic statement on the return of power of Hong Kong
back to mainland China, but I don't think the film is nearly as deep as
it so badly wants to be.
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