BLINDSPOT: Happy Together (1997)

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I had no regrets until I met you. Now my regrets could kill me!” said Lai Yiu-fai to Ho Po-wing.

Before making In the Mood for Love, which I love most, Wong Kar-wai made another bleak romance story in Happy Together—dubbed after The Turtles’ song played during the end credit. While In the Mood for Love is a bit subtle in depicting a deteriorating love affair; Happy Together is the opposite of it. It’s a violent take of a crumbling gay romance in its finest. 

Shot in Argentina, along with the beat of Tango and Latin jazz, Wong Kar-wai made a breakthrough using a fake script that entangled Tony Leung (whom also participated in Wong Kar-wai’s next project) with the late Leslie Cheung as a gay couple. Stranded in a foreign country after a failed trip to Iguazu falls, the couple experienced a deteriorating love lost; as Lai Yiu-fai (Leung) began to get fed up with his breakup-reconciliation cycle with Ho Po-wing (Cheung).

During their struggle to keep alive in Argentina and to renew their relationship, Lai Yiu-fai met Chang (Chang), his co-worker in a Chinese restaurant. While Lai Yiu-fai found solace in Chang; the relationship went even darker and, seemingly, it opened their eyes about what they really wanted.

Happy Together is a mess—an exact opposite of In the Mood for Love, if the latter is considered as a beauty. Only, this one is a beautiful mess. Wong Kar-wai’s care for aesthetic is at his finest to decorate the beauty into a mess. In addition, it’s an explosive romance—an exact opposite of In the Mood for Love, if the latter is considered as calm romance.

The narrative was considerably random; we never know where Wong Kar-wai would lead us after following particular events. However, every sequence was made beautiful and meaningful—meaning to say, the beauty creates substance in this over-exploding gay romance. All in all, Happy Together is one of the most exceptional film made by Wong Kar-wai for its blunt, ingenious perspective of an ailing gay relationship craving for reconciliation. Instead, it grabs the sentimental side of this deteriorating relationship in an honest, explosive way.

What I like most from Happy Together:

  • Wong Kar Wai created a mess: an untidy work in his finest precision just like how he arranged the beauty in In the Mood for Love.
  • Leslie Cheung (RIP) delivered one of his best performance as a volatile but unstable gay. He’s the reason why this film is explosive.
  • Tony Leung made best chemistry to his two co-stars: Leslie Cheung and Chen Chang.
  • Argentina is the best location for this romance along with the Tango beat and all.

What I do not like from Happy Together:

  • The narrative was going here and there without obvious guideline; seemingly, every detail was not matched with the rest.

VERDICT: Happy Together is a blunt, ingenious perspective of an ailing gay relationship craving for reconciliation in an honest, explosive way

Happy Together (1997)

“Chun gwong cha sit”

Drama, Romance Written & Directed by: Wong Kar-wai Starred by: Tony Leung, Leslie Cheung, Chen Chang Running Time: 96 mins


6 thoughts on “BLINDSPOT: Happy Together (1997)

  1. I love this movie so much…such a brilliant look at a tumultuous relationship, and I always found the floundering narrative to be an aid in addressing the toxicity of their relationship.

  2. YEAY, you finally watched it! Happy Together is my favorite work from Wong so far. It’s a bit slow, but I’m agree that it’s a beautiful mess.

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