*Estimated Read Time: 2 mins

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