# A NEW FILM EXPERIENCE ## 2-19-24 Yesterday I saw a movie with my girlfriend called "In The Mood For Love". It is a romantic drama set in Hong Kong. The film centers around two people who are married. Their spouses have an affair together, and they bond over it by re-enacting how the affair started. I don't think they ever got physical or anything. But people start making rumors, they go to different places to try and hide and spend time together. They work on a martial arts serial. The film is slow. But it really isn't that long. When I told my girlfriend how I felt that it was super long, she asked me how long I thought it was. I said, maybe two hours? She said it was 99 minutes. I was shocked. It felt like an eternity at times. She said that she could tell I was really bored. And she was right. The film felt cyclical, repeating the same few sequences over and over again. I liked that about it, but at some point I wish that it could have been a bit quicker in these sequences. I don't know if that's 100% true for the entirety of the film, though. Here's how I felt over the runtime. ### Beginning This is strange. Kind of slow. What is this movie even about? Nothing's happening. Everybody is so overly polite, it's pretty funny. ### Maybe 20 minutes later Wow, this is interesting. Their spouses are cheating with each other??? That's sad. I see their bond. ### Some time in the middle Okay, I get it. This could be shorter. Getting to be a slog... ### Ending Wow. I get it. I still don't know what to think of the film, but I understand what it's getting at. I had no knowledge of the film before seeing it. Usually I'd like to read up, at least a bit, about whatever I'm going to watch/play/listen/whatever. But this time I appreciated not having that baseline knowledge. I could form my own opinions as it unfolded in front of me. I think the film is trying to get at a couple of things. The first is the mundane life that comes with marriage. Marital affairs are painfully common. Both of the main character's spouses "work late nights" and travel a lot. It's a lonely life for our characters. They go to work, they go see their neighbors, then they go to their rooms. There's no company. It feels bleak in a very interesting way. The second is the innate feeling of desire. He wants her. She wants him. But neither of them will make the move. Perhaps it's because they do not want to shake up their comfortable life. Even if things might be better with the two of them together, or at least not with a cheating husband/wife, it's easier. Change is scary. A lot of the time, it seems that things just aren't meant to be, no matter how much you want it. At the end of the film, the man goes to where they once lived. The woman now has a son. We don't know who is the father, but I'm guessing it was her husband. The man goes to a place to speak his secret, and bury it forever. A period of both of their lives that left them long ago. Faint memories remain, blurred by the passage of time, so only the little moments remain. Memories of glances, of smiles, of the sharing of food, of just BEING with the other person. Words don't always need to be said. I like that about relationships. Or at least the one I have now. Both of us like to fill the silence with speech. But we know that it's not a requirement. We can just BE with each other. All the good and bad about ourselves are on full display, not hidden to look better to the other. Our true selves, or the most true we can be to another person. It's a really nice thing. I'm glad I have it. And this film, in some way, reminded me of that. So I'm thankful to have seen it, and I'm thankful that I could see it with someone who I love. Go back to blog posts