Thursday, December 23, 2004

Leaving for 2046

How many times have I left on that train? Countless times. I see myself as a fellow passenger of Tak. "They say in 2046, nothing changes." Didn't I wish for that once? To be able to travel to a place where everything is constant. It's a thoughtless wish. It's the kind of wish that one should be careful about making because it might come true.

Last Sunday I watched the film by Wong Kar Wai with V. Following the strains of the violin and being led by the hand through nostalgia, I couldn't help feeling my heart lurch. How familiar the scenese were. How heart-wrenching, really. And how rich and luscious the cinematography. The framing was unique, well thought of. Also, just like "The Blind Assasin" how perfectly coincidental for me that the film explored both love and science fiction in an elegant way.

There is a scene where a Chinese girl, the daughter of the hotel owner, keeps repeating phrases in Japanese to an absent lover. It is so poignant. And again, so familiar. At the moment when she could have said "Yes, I will leave with you" she says nothing. But after he leaves, after everything is over, the music rises to a crescendo, she begins practising what she should have said. She breaks down and is not seen for a long time at the small hotel. I bowed my head in pain. How true, how true. Of some women. Of me, especially. I found it both hilarious and a bit saddening to see, in a parallel take on that situation, Tak fall in love with an android who suffered from extremely delayed reaction. But that is how it is for some people. It's the only way to explain what happened, how we felt at the time. How we feel now. Delayed reaction. Maybe that's what it was. Maybe not.

Everything is so poignant on hindsight. But people change, move on, love again. I'm glad that, just like Wong Kar Wai, I can fictionalize all that pain and create something out of it. Art, poetry, film. They all speak of what hurt us the most. What makes us continue to live.

I loved the film. I recommend you watch it. You may not like it as much as I did. But it's definitely provocative, something to debate about, to think about.

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