Chunking Express 1994 *****

Wong Kar Wei has made a series of disappointing films since he became a world-beating director; it would be hard to raise too much enthusiasm for 2046, My Blueberry Nights or even the chaotic The Grandmaster. Better to return to 1994’s sublime Chunking Express, a two part story that exudes humanity in every frame. The first story concerns Cop 223 (Takeshi Kaneshiro), who has just broken up with his girlfriend. His police duties are interspersed with melancholy as he hunts down tins with an expiration date before his breakup date. If the first story details unrequited love, the second is pure romance. Cop 663 (Tony Leung) breaks up with his air-stewardess girlfriend, and leaves their keys at a local fast-food bar to be picked up. They fall into the hands of Faye (Faye Wong), who breaks into the policeman’s apartments and makes subtle changes in the hope that he’ll recognise her love. With the Mammas and the Papas’ Californian Dreams and a cover of The Cranberries ‘ Dreams on the soundtrack, Chunking Express is a miracle of cinema, a sweet-hearted lightheaded meditation of the ups and down of romantic love that leaves the audience walking on air.


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