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Millennium Mambo back to product details

a special story
written by pyeung June 1, 2005 - 9:06 AM PDT
3 out of 3 members found this review helpful
There isn't a resolution in this story. I think people intuitively like closure but many things in life are open-ended. Millennium Mambo shows that. The story is about Vicky's journey at a specific moment in time as her narrative tells the course of events that led her from the DJ, to Jack and her visit to Japan with the brothers. The order of scenes appears to be out of place because Vicky jumped from one story to the other, back and forth, like how some people would when they recall parts of their past. She was at a stage where she wanted to enjoy life and have affection with someone regardless of the consequences. The story illustrates her disillusionment with reality and adult responsibilities and her preference for idealism. I think the director downplays the traditional plot with climax and resolution because he wants the audience to forget about what's next, focus on the present and feel what Vicky was experiencing. I really like the sequence when Vicky rode in Jack's roofless car while standing up to feel the moving wind. At that brief moment, she found what she was looking for amidst the chaos in her life. Also, the music and the editing create a dreamlike quality, which is repeated throughout the story. MM is very special to me as it makes me think about how I should value idealism and reality. Also, I like how MM, through Vicky's narrative, does not judge how her idealistic pursuit turns out. While some people look back at their past and evaluate their actions, others like Vicky simply reminisce moments of their past and treasure certain feelings they had.

Beautiful and slow
written by autarch May 6, 2005 - 12:03 AM PDT
1 out of 4 members found this review helpful
Like many of Hou's movies, there's not a lot of action, nor is there any strong story line. Instead, it's just about a period in some people's lives. This film, like many of his others, features long camera shots, plenty of moments without dialogue, and no resolution.

written by WReynolds December 13, 2004 - 9:27 AM PST
0 out of 4 members found this review helpful
Unabashed star vehicle... FYI: DVD is actually only 88 minutes long... not the 105 listed here or the 119 min / 120 min listed on IMDb.

Beautiful Ciphers
written by talltale August 23, 2004 - 3:59 PM PDT
6 out of 9 members found this review helpful
Hsiao-hsien Hou is a critic's darling, all right. I've been hearing about his work for years now, but none of his films had received a commercial release in America. Until MILLENNIUM MAMBO, that is--at which point many of these critics harrumphed that well, yes, it's nice to finally see one of Hou's movies in a theatre, but, really, this is not his best. Let's hope they're right. Here is yet another Taiwanese movie about disaffected youth (do I hear a Tsai Ming Liang aficionado kvelling in the dark?) that is gorgeous (sort of) but says practically nothing at all. Oh, these characters are unhappy. Oh, they waste their lives. Few of them seem to be able to handle a job. Drugs, sex, clubbing are rife, but none of these activities--save an early scene with a "magician"--look remotely enjoyable. (Then how come kids seem to love 'em so?) Hou and his cinematographer give us a number of beautiful compositions along the way, but even these end up detracting from story and character. The opening sequence (featuring the gorgeous Qi Shu of "So Close" and other romantic martial art movies) is beautifully shot, and the final visual--held for a long, long while--is simply stunning. Yet, by the end of this film you'll know and understand no more about these people--who they are, what they want, why they make their decisions--than you did at the beginning. I suspect the director does not know, either. Further, he does not care. He just wants to make pretty pictures about gloomy characters. In this, he has succeeded, and sometimes quite beautifully.


(Average 5.74)
73 Votes
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