2370. Days Of Being Wild (阿飛正傳) (1990)

7.7 Classic Wong Kar-wai
  • Acting 7.6
  • Directing 7.8
  • Story 7.6
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Starring: Leslie Cheung, Maggie Cheung, Andy Lau

Director: Wong Kar-wai

Running Time: 94 mins

Days Of Being Wild is a Hong Kong film about a man with a reputation as a playboy who goes to look for his birth parents after the woman who raised him reveals their identity, while his former lovers part ways with him and move onto the rest of their lives.

Wong Kar-wai’s filmmaking style is so unique, that it’s simply enough for him to aim a camera at something, and it will still make for a striking and enthralling watch. Days Of Being Wild is a clear example of his cinematic brilliance, and while it does still feature an engrossing story filled with emotion, it’s the artistic nature of the film that really makes it shine.

If you’ve ever seen any of Wong’s films, In The Mood For Love, 2046, Chungking Express etc, then you’ll know exactly what you’re in for with Days Of Being Wild. Dilapidated, cramped and dim settings may come across as places of sheer darkness in other films, but the drama that Wong lends these settings turns them into places of stunning emotional passion.

The film’s cinematography is excellent from beginning to end, as you’re brought into the claustrophobic space of high rises in Hong Kong during the 1960s, and that atmosphere created by the way those settings are shot is what ultimately allows the emotional drama to seem so explosive.

Because, while the story at hand may not seem so spectacular in the grander scheme of things, it’s set against a world that is rather dim and cramped, and with the amount of energy and emotion that is in that story, the drama is therefore amplified, as the characters go through an immensely tumultuous period of their lives contained within a very small space.

Of course, the entire movie isn’t in apartment rooms, and Wong does a brilliant job to offer respite from the intensity of those sequences with even more beautiful scenes set outdoors, whereby the film takes on an altogether new atmosphere, something a little more relaxed and elegant than the passionate intensity of the indoors.

When it comes to the story at hand, however, there’s no denying that Days Of Being Wild is still a riveting watch. While it does come across as a rather abstract piece at times, it creates a striking and graceful ballet of romance as we see four characters’ relationships change over time, gradually and seamlessly blending into one another in a way that I’ve never seen before.

As a result, while it may not have the bright colours of your average Hollywood movie, this film is a truly wonderful romantic drama that blends both the harsh grit of the real world with the fairytale nature of love itself, which makes it a deeply immersive and engrossing watch from beginning to end.

Overall, I was very impressed by Days Of Being Wild. In classic Wong Kar-wai style, the movie is a visually stunning piece, taking dark and decrepit settings and giving them a stunning emotional power, while the story itself weaves and winds its way gracefully over the course of an hour and a half, making for an immersive and immensely elegant watch throughout, and that’s why I’m giving it a 7.7.


About Author

The Mad Movie Man, AKA Anthony Cullen, writes articles and reviews about movies and the world of cinema. Since January 1st, 2013, he has watched and reviewed a movie every day. This is the blog dedicated to the project: www.madmovieman.com