International Title: Fallen Angels
Original Title: Duolou Tianshi
Country: Hong Kong
Director: Wong Kar-Wai
Actors: Leon Lai, Michelle Reis, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Charlie Yeung, Karen Mok, etc.
Sometimes also referred to as the second part of Chungking Express, Wong Kar-Wai's Fallen Angels is indeed a lot like Chungking Express: The same way of storytelling, the same moods, all the references to Fallen Angel's one year older brother by using the same items (blonde wig, pineapple), even the same song ("Things in Life" by Dennis Brown) and, regarding Takeshi Kaneshiro, even the same actor…
Fallen Angels once again illustrates the lonely paths of five different persons in Hong Kong—here a dark city infested with bright neon lights and the ever present loneliness waiting for you in every dark corner or even in a crowded bar.
There's the professional killer Wong Chi-Ming (Leon Lai) who wants to quit his job. His partner, a dark lonely woman (Michelle Reis) setting up his jobs who is secretly in love with him and still not able to get closer to him. A crazy young woman with blonde hair (Karen Mok) he chooses as his girlfriend. The amusing He Zhiwu (Takeshi Kaneshiro) who is mute ever since he ate a can of perished pineapple and who now works at night in shops which don't belong to him. A frustrated young woman (Charlie Yeung) who can't get over the loss of her love Johnny and who teams up with He Zhiwu in order to find Blondie, that woman who has snatched Johnny away, and take revenge.
Their paths of life told in different stories sometimes happen to cross for a moment or two in Hong Kong's nightscape, however, in Fallen Angels this appears to happen less randomly than in Chungking Express. You can watch that movie and enjoy the artsy way of filming (Wong Kar-Wai and Christopher Doyle are a great team!) and the cool shots on the screen, but you have to dig deeper. You have to feel that movie. No matter how cool the actors may look, no matter how emotionless they are talking about their lives. The intense loneliness of all of them is always there, hidden under sexy dresses, in the smoke of the tons of cigarettes they smoke, shining through the neon lights in the urban night.
The movie is not utterly thrilling. But it's soothing, incredibly sad yet occasionally funny, sometimes providing subtle nuances of feelings, then again filling the screen with the naked craziness of Karen Mok's character, or with Charlie Yeung's unleashed hatred towards the woman Blondie. And, last but not least, Fallen Angels is a wonderful ballad, an ode to the megapolis Hong Kong, no matter how dark the city with all the loneliness locked in its nights is sketched in the movie.
One of my all time favorites!
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