The director of In the Mood for Love uses music throughout the film to set the mood in the film and enhance the musical background that was typical of Hong Kong in the 1960s. Additionally, the music enhances the feelings of Tony Leung and Maggie Cheung. The choice of music is also appropriate for various scenes within the film as it coincides with the prevailing themes within those periods in the movie (Wong, 2000).
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Leung and Cheung initially begin their friendship as two victims of cheating spouses. Later they discover that their spouses are cheating with each other. They gradually develop a passion for each other but cannot consummate their relationship because that would make them no different from their spouses who cheat with each other (Wong, 2000). The lyrics of the song that plays in the music during these scenes foreshadow as much. It gives a message about green eyes that he will never kiss and the unknown sadness.
In addition, the melody of the songs in the various scenes of the film is significant and crucial in relaying the theme in the film. Whenever the two lovers are together in the restaurant, a song with a melancholic melody is played (Wong, 2000). The song points to the futility of the love that the two characters harbor for each other. The resonance hints at an inevitable sad ending to their affair and their romance. The song seems to caution the audience against getting any fairytale ending ideas to the relationship of the two where they live happily ever after (Wong, 2000). The melody emphasizes morality that is often sad and discomforting to follow. It echoes the necessity of higher ideals such as discipline, respect for self and others, and resistance to the temptation to revenge.
Wong, K.-W. (Director). (2000). In the Mood for Love [Video file]. Web.