25th May 2011
Fallen Angels is the first movie I have seen which Wong Kar Wai directs. The plot of the movie revolves around three main characters: A hit man, his partner and a mute petty criminal. The story that unfolds first is of Leon Lai playing a hired killer who works with but rarely meets his partner Michelle Reis. This narrative is heavy in moody reflection and contrasts with the comical second story, which has Takeshi Kaneshiro playing a mute who indulges in petty crime whilst blundering around nighttime Hong Kong meeting, and antagonizing all manner of characters. The color used through this film are strong neon colors, surrounded in a dark mood, emphasizing that these colorful people are lost souls, looking for love and hate in the wrong places. For the bulk of the film the cinematographer, Chris Doyle, uses a peculiarly wide lens. This wide lens unavoidably causes a large amount of distortion as well as gives the audience an acute sense of depth. It made me feel that I was viewing these characters from a distance though they appeared to be zoomed on screen. The opening sequence of the movie illustrates my claim. This scene shows the killer and his partner as they sit together for the first time in their working relationship. It opens with the partner asking, “Are we still partners?” This line makes it seem as if their working relationship is coming to an end. Though the wide angled lens is used and we can clearly see that the characters are inside a room the only other object visible in the room is a picture frame. At this moment nothing else exists for the viewers except the two characters. With the partners face appearing so large in the screen and so close to the lens the audience feels pushed into the shot though there still seems to be a vast space between the killer and the partner. The use of the wide focus length induces a sense of both closeness and distance in one shot.
The scene is desolate, highly contrasted...