Aneesh Chaganty

Movie #86 As Tears Go By

In Uncategorized on December 15, 2010 at 5:20 AM

Movie #86 As Tears Go By

(1988, Hong Kong, d. Wong Kar-Wai)

As Tears Go By is Wong-Kar Wai’s highest grossing film to date and it’s pretty obvious why. It doesn’t contain any of the long scenes of dialogue about life or the thin plot lines that focus more on meaning that substance. Rather it’s a very studied look at the relationship between two quarreling brothers. It asks the questions “What’s the difference between protecting and being a good brother?” and “How far will you go to help a sibling?”. It’s very different from the rest of Kar-Wai’s films, even though this film does contain some bleak views on love that are very reminiscent of his later films. However, this is only due to the benefit of hindsight. Judging the film on its own, I would say it was a very stylized (and though sometimes melodramatic) look at a couple of brothers in and out of the Hong Kong underworld. Though I wouldn’t suggest this film to any regular moviegoer, the best part of the film was observing a more main-stream Wong Kar-Wai at work.

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