Jonny’s review published on Letterboxd:
I'm glad I got to watch this again for a class since I came away lukewarm at best in my first watch.
I think my struggle in the first watch was I saw all the cultural elements as sort of an underlying theme rather than the basis of the whole conflict. Without realizing the impact the context of the culture plays it's pretty easy to feel like this film jumps around indecisively and pads a lot of time with back and forth dead end interactions. But seeing it as the imposing barrier holding the plot back from turning into a liberating romance it certainly adds a lot more restraint and tension to the film.
Wong-Kar-wai beautifuly sets the mood (as he seems to do in every output) for the protagonist to fall in love but if they can get past that barrier is as much up to them as it's out of their control.
All that being said I still much prefer Fallen Angels and Chungking Express to this one. I think the multiple interwoven storyline approach helps improve the pacing of these going nowhere fast romances. I really felt the lack of momentum in the last act of this film in both watches.
Still, this remains one of the most unconventionally romantic films I have ever seen.