I love watching classic movies. There’s something fascinating about looking back through time and discovering a surprise gem with a profoundly compelling story unlike anything that’s made these days.
Movies these days have become so generic. Everything’s a sequel or a reboot and if it is something new it’s an unoriginal mashup of past great movies. Hence the reason why Parasite’s arrival a couple of years ago was such a breath of fresh air. Parasite was as original as they come and guess what? It was really good too. Even this year’s Best Picture, Nomadland, was surprisingly original.
So, last night, I watched two classics: Cool Hand Luke and In the Mood for Love. So, with no further delay, here are my thoughts about these two movies.
Cool Hand Luke
Paul Newman is one of the most famous actors of all time and his most influential film just might be Cool Hand Luke. I honestly didn’t know what to expect but as I watched the film it became more and more clear that this movie was going to subvert every one of my expectations.
Was the movie great? I personally didn’t think so. At times it was hilarious and riveting…and then there were other times when the movie was as exacerbating as they come. When the movie concluded I was left staring straight ahead like, “What just happened?”
Yes, I know the movie is famous and I understand why but this wasn’t exactly my cup of tea.
In the Mood for Love
On the other hand, this movie was absolutely phenomenal. Considering that I had seen two movies starring Tony Leung (Hero and Shang-Chi and the Legebd of the Ten Rings) and both were utterly fantastic I felt like watching another film featuring the incredible actor. So I decided to watch what is one of the most famous romantic films of all time and wow it did not disappoint.
In the Mood for Love is a heart-shattering romance featuring two people who suspect their spouses are cheating with one another and so, to uncover the mystery of how such a thing could happen, they begin to reenact their spouses’ betrayal. And they’re doing this all while promising to keep their relationship platonic. Between the sexually intense gazes cast by Tony Leung and the furtive glances Maggie Cheung throws his way throughout the film, In the Mood for Love is a masterclass in sexual tension.
Both Leung and Cheung are such phenomenal actors as they lead us through this story that remains unconventional from the get-go. And this film’s beauty! Oh! It was magnificent!
Between the production design, the costume design (specifically for Maggie Cheung’s Mrs. Chan), and the directing, In the Mood for Love is honestly one of the most beautiful movies I’ve ever seen.
By the end, I was an emotional wreck as I failed to hold back tears. As the credits rolled I just kind of looked up at the ceiling with tear-stained cheeks and took a deep breath.
If you like romantic movies this is a must-watch.