Another film partly conceived to see Wong Kar Wai's company through cash-flow problems (after the expensive over-run on Happy Together), the original idea behind this film was to divide the story between the 60s and the present as two neighbours - Tony Leung and Maggie Cheung - begin an affair after discovering their spouses are seeing other people.
When production began, Wong Kar Wai was seduced by the 60s setting and abandoned the present-day update. As with his other films, In The Mood For Love focuses on the random nature of romance and the notion of the 'missed moment'. But, unlike the tumbling energy of previous works, Mood is in many ways the distillation of Wong Kar Wai's semi-improvised shooting method into an elegantly paced, exquisitely restrained piece of storytelling.
In a nutshell: An elegantly paced, exquisitely restrained piece of storytelling. There is nothing so distinct as a Wong Kar Wai film.