Time And Travel Essay

1353 words - 6 pages

Given that In the Mood for Love and 2046 are, respectively, the latter two parts of a Wong Kar-Wai trilogy, it is no surprise that they share many thematic and cinematic elements. 2046 picks up where In the Mood for Love left off, however, now Tony Leung’s character has hardened against the ideals of love he once held and has subsequently fallen into a womanizing cycle of short, meaningless affairs. The films, while shot similarly and contain similar soundtracks, deal with the dimensions of time and travel differently in that they are attempting to answer different questions and access these answers through different mediums. Whereas In the Mood for Love had a hopeful tone in which the lovers are attempting to alter time and travel in order to reverse their own pain and move forward, 2046 has a much darker tone in which many of the characters are trying to return to a utopia they once knew, only to realize that the utopia does not exist anymore. Tony Leung’s character remains the same in both films and continues to be a writer; the elements of fiction he adds into both stories and his role as an author add to the distortion of a linear plot in the film. His fiction also grants him access to places he has not been to and therefore a different mode of travel is utilized. In both films, the concept of memory is explored and the question of what can exist solely in memory and what can transcend memory repeatedly comes up. In both these films, fiction and memory are used as mediums in an attempt to distort the dimensions of travel and time in order to serve the characters interests.
Through role-playing and other acts of escapism, Maggie Cheung and Tony Leung’s characters attempt to engage their romance outside of real world time in order to avoid infidelity like their spouses. Each instance of their role-playing and bits of dialoging practicing confrontations or good-byes break up the linear time line of the film by either re-enacting the past or preparing for the future. These moments of acting are outside of the film’s linear narrative in that they are cutting outside of “real time” and entering into an almost fictional world. This distortion of time helps Leung and Cheung avoid any real infidelity since they they are not acting as themselves, but rather as representations of their spouses. Leung and Cheung also use fiction in order to escape the pain of their spouses infidelity. Through using the martial arts series as a way to spend time together and the fabrication of these stories as an escape mechanism from their real lives, Leung and Cheung were able to cope with the loss of their spouses. The element of travel, however, also worked in the favor of their unfaithful spouses. Using Japan as their second home, their spouses were able to escape from their married time and physical space in order to be with one another. Time and travel function in this film as restrictive mechanisms that one must escape from through means of imagination or...

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