Chungking Express Themes

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Chungking Express: The Role of Hong Kong City in the Plot The movie “Chunking Express” which was written and directed by Wong Kar Wai is a romance/drama film produced in 1994. The plot within the movie tells of two stories which are shown in sequence (“Chunking Express” n.p). Each story features a troubled relationship of a Hong Kong police officer. In the first story, the film focuses on Cop 223 (He Qiwu), the obsession he bears of his broken relationship with May as well as the platonic encounter he experiences with a mysterious drug smuggler. In the second story, Cop 663 is roused from a gloomy spell by Faye, after his recent breakup with his flight attendant girlfriend (“Chunking Express” n.p). In “Chungking Express”, the city of Hong …show more content…
During the time portrayed in the film, average Hong Kong citizens had little control if any at all, in regards to their future. The least they could do was come up with enough savings that would facilitate an escape from the island in the eventuality that they could not handle the change in power. Much like the characters in “Chunking Express”, the people were very desperate at the time. As it appears, the characters in the film were actually made so as to reflect the mentality of the people in Hong Kong. Furthermore it is plausible to deduce that the film implicitly addresses the handover of Hong Kong to China by the …show more content…
Starting from its title, the movie borrows from the Chunking Mansion which was one of the renowned sites for all kinds of races and nationalities in the city during the early 90s. The director does not simply pick the scenes for their value as a backdrop but he rather relates to them in both sentimental and metaphorical ways. The characters and the stories that define them are also symbolic of the experiences people had within the city at a time of uncertainty which was caused by the expected handover to China in 1997. Perhaps unlike the people in pre-handover Hong Kong, the characters within the film are more contemplative of their feelings which lead them to find ways of being more cheerful instead of running away. Generally, by intertwining the story of the city within the story of the characters, the director makes Hong Kong a definitive part of the plot and the message within the movie. He seemed to have been focused on portraying a message of hope to the citizens whose lives were in despair at that particular

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