Happy Together Screen 4 articles

Happy Together

1997

Happy Together Poster
  • This is my least favorite of Wong's films, but I wouldn't call it his worst—dysfunctional romances just bore the shit out of me, and I only perk up here when Chang Chen is onscreen offering a potential way out.

  • Like the mannerist tics comprising Wong’s style — the use of different characters as narrators... the shifts between color and black and white; and the bumpy transitions between garish forms of lighting and visual texture — his set pieces always provide a lively surface activity. If your acquaintance with Wong’s work is casual, that may be all the justification he needs. But when Wong tries to turn these sequences into something larger, the results are more various and uneven.

  • HAPPY TOGETHER is more promiscuous, sexually and formally. A bold reconfiguring of Hong Kong's most popular straight actors as an quarrelsome expat gay couple, HAPPY TOGETHER scrambles desire into a series of conditional repetitions. Literally, it's all about breaking up. It also concludes with the most ecstatic use of the title tune imaginable.

  • Within the grimy confines of Lai’s apartment, old wounds fester and eventually explode, with the interpersonal shrapnel bouncing off the walls and slicing right back into the two men’s minds and hearts. Doyle’s captures this claustrophobia with stunningly lithe and intimate camerawork, oscillating between evocative depth compositions and squirm-inducing close-ups of Lai and Ho as they scream and seethe.

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