Eye For Film >> Movies >> Days Of Being Wild (1991) Film Review
Wong Kar Wai's 1960s Hong Kong, which he was to revisit in In The Mood For Love in a much glossier format, is gritty yet sultry in Days Of Being Wild. As ever, he is concerned with friendships and love triangles, family disharmony and unrequited love.
The film centres around Yuddy (Leslie Cheung), a rebellious and uncaring youth, seemingly impervious to anyone's affection. He seduces Su Lizhen (Maggie Cheung) with his smooth talking, but she leaves him when it becomes obvious he won't get serious. Pining for him, she finds some comfort in a friendship with Tide (Andy Lau), a young policeman, who falls in love with her. Yuddy's new lover, glitzy, highly-strung showgirl Mimi, also knows she'll never possess him completely, but she keeps coming back, no matter how badly he treats her.
Yuddy is callous towards both women, in fact has little time, or respect, for anyone. But there is something more serious than women and pleasure on his mind. The woman he thought was his mother, a former prostitute, admits that she adopted him, but won't reveal the identity of his birth mother. Eventually. he sets out for the Philippines to search for her and strikes up a companionship of sorts with Tide, now a sailor, who happens to be in the country at the same time.
Wong's depiction of character is second to none, from the self-absorbed Yuddy, who in reality deceives no one more than himself with his cod-philosophy of freedom and independence, to the lonesome and dignified Su Lizhen. He's on form where the atmospherics are concerned, too.
In contrast to In The Mood For Love's rich, warm colours, this film is all half-light, greens and blues - the colours of envy and regret? The voyeuristic camera angles and glimpses through the stillness of rooms, corridors and desolate streets create a sense of involvement and detachment all at once. Then, Wong contrasts the claustrophobic domesticity of Hong Kong with the lush jungle of the Philippines and the exhileration of the new setting for Yuddy.
Melancholy is never so enjoyable as when it's depicted by Wong Kar Wai.Reviewed on: 13 Mar 2005