Enigmatic Review of "2046"

Last night watched 2046, a 2004 movie by writer/director Kar Wai Wong. The movie is a gorgeous and well crafted hymn to responsibility. The films is strongly Randian, with characters that could have come from the worlds of Alisa Rosenbaum (a suffering writer/philosopher, an admiring femme fatale, and an oriental version of the couple in We the Living among them).

Where everything ends… and begins

At first glance 2046 appears to be a train-based science-fiction story (an apparent homage to Atlas Shrugged). Only as the film continues do the nature of the “future” and “past” storyline become clear, and Kar Wai Wong deserves praise for the way he unravels meaning, and the way the storylines beautifully complement each other.

2046 is the antithesis of , a tale by H.P. Lovecraft written in late 1920:

There are not many persons who know what wonders are opened to them in the stories and visions of their youth; for when as children we listen and dream, we think but half-formed thoughts, and when as men we try to remember, we are dulled and prosaic with the poison of life. But some of us awake in the night with strange phantasms of enchanted hills and gardens, of fountains that sing in the sun, of golden cliffs overhanging murmuring seas, of plains that stretch down to sleeping cities of bronze and stone, and of shadowy companies of heroes that ride caparisoned white horses along the edges of thick forests; and then we know that we have looked back through the ivory gates into that world of wonder which was ours before we were wise and unhappy.

2046 is available from, greencine, and other fine distributors.

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2 thoughts on “Enigmatic Review of "2046"
  1. Purpleslog,

    I haven't seen “In the Mood” yet (it is in my greencine queue), but I think Amazon's description of “2046” as a quasi-sequel is correct. The male protagonist is the same, and I read that the “future” storyline strongly reflects “In the Mood,” but I do not think I missed anything.

    Perhaps one might be able to put some action in context quicker if one had seen “In the Mood,” but I enjoyed knowing nothing going into the movie. The author uses pacing to reveal certain motives and relationships, and I do not know if the experience would have been less if I was able to figure things out more quickly.

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