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:: 2046

Beautifully shot with no less than three different cinematographers, 2046 is a visual indulgence with a melancholy tone. The title is misleading, as this isn't primarily a science fiction, but a dreamy and fragmented story about lost love, or the loss of the hope of love.

The story revolves around Mr Chow, a womanising writer in 1960s Hong Kong who writes a sci-fi series called 2046. 2046 is also the number of the apartment next to him, which is occupied in turn by a number of women he is involved with. One of these is played by Ziyi Zhang, from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon fame. The film delves into the stories that he writes as they become influenced by his life, offering some beautiful futuristic scenes and some great costumes.

The film can be confusing, and it drags towards the end, but it is definitely a feast to the senses. Like abstract poetry, even the voice-over and occasional word on the screen don't shed light on the main point until the very end and you're better off enjoying the ride than over-analysing. The visuals, pace and mood are so beautiful it's sad that the painstaking task of tying up all the loose ends makes the last half an hour wilt. Don't expect any happy endings.

Still, the occasional sci-fi scenes are stunning and the actors portray their roles beautifully. I would recommend the critically acclaimed prequel to this, In the Mood for Love, if you want to have a taste of this director on DVD.