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Creative Writing
Movie Review
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Chunking Express and Suzhou River Analysis (Movie Review Sample)


Lou Ye's film Suzhou River and Wong Kar-wai's Chungking Express present two visions of Chinese urbanity at the turn of the millennium. Compare and contrast the directors' thematic and stylistic approaches to depicting contemporary urban life. How did these two films articulate cultural mentalities in Shanghai and Hong Kong, respectively? Please consider these two film stills and discuss how they portray interpersonal relationships in specific urban spaces.


Chunking Express and Suzhou River Analysis
Suzhou River is a film that pays homage through its own tragic love story against a diverse backdrop of Shanghai. In the film along the Suzhou River in Shanghai, the videographer invents numerous storylines concerning people passing by as he films through his apartment window (Rooney 1). This individual is also in love with Meimei, a young woman that had performed as a mermaid in a nightclub act and has been the videographer's girlfriend, however, she had left him abruptly and mysteriously.
Chungking Express Film which was directed by Wong Kar-Wai is divided into two parts that indicate a similar storyline with very different characters and therefore, their different experiences are highlighted in the film. The film initially displays a young Cop 223 that has not lost hope that his girlfriend has left him (HZHZ 1-4). This individual attempts to hold on to her in any manner that he can. In the second story, the film highlights Cop 663 after he and his flight attendant girlfriend had already left him.
The paper will highlight the thematic and stylistic approaches of both films and how they depict the urban life of Shanghai and Hong Kong. Through highlighting these elements, the paper will indicate the manner that the cultural mentalities in both cities affect the relationships of the characters in the film.
Wong Kar-Wai displays a story concerning the manner that both of these individuals can move on from a relationship while tying together numerous thematic and cultural expressions associated with the urban lifestyles of the characters (Thomas 7). In both films, the directors attempt at exploring the emotions of people dealing with stressful situations such as relationship breakups which in reality are typically painful. However, through the portrayal of the pain of the characters, these films depict that emotional intelligence is important in dealing with such situations.
Suzhou River is highly similar to Chunking Express as it depicts a sad tale of relationships whereby director Lou Ye showcases Shanghai as an economic modernization of a highly decrepit and dark city. In this city, people strive constantly for fulfillment which is a direct link to the manner that Chunking also described the bustle along the Hong Kong streets (Clode 1). However, Suzhou River is completely different as the polluted hues of Suzhou River are shown in a manner that provides a backdrop towards the subjective conceptions of love as highly frustrating and ultimately disappointing for the main character.
In Chunking Express, an essential theme was the portrayal of the diversity of Hong Kong in areas that are not normally seen in movies. The director mainly succeeds in showing the melting pot of numerous races and cultures that commune and work together in one of the most known vibrant cities worldwide (Thomas 4). This is a critical component since it alters the entire texture of the film's narrative for people that are accustomed to the bright lights and clear skylines of Hong Kong in the film, which creates a highly realistic version of the manner that the city is richly diversified (Thomas 7).
The visuals depicted in the first half of Chunking Express portray a great sense of confusion which is constant with the densely populated area in the Chunking Mansions, which is a cosmopolitan area for numerous nationalities that includes illegal immigrants and also illegal activities such as drug trafficking (HZHZ 5). The documentary-drama style of Suzhou River follows around the narrator as he makes a cautious study on the human traffic passing by his balcony. He notes the numerous emotional vicissitudes of other people and there...

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