A Hong Kong fast food restaurant acts as the link between two unusual stories of police officers in love in this eccentric, stylish comedy-drama. Director Wong Kar-Wai plays freely with traditional narrative structure, dividing his film into two loosely connected segments. The first centers on a depressed cop struggling to come to terms with a recent break-up. His sad isolation is transformed when he encounters a beautiful, mysterious femme fatale, whose involvement with the criminal underworld proves troublesome for both. The second story explores the odd relationship between a female restaurant worker and another recently jilted police officer. The strange woman decides to regularly clean and redecorate the man's apartment in his absence, allowing the two to form a close intimacy without meeting face to face. Both stories present a beautifully atmospheric look at modern urban life and romance, with its combination of isolation and casual, unexpected meetings. Chungking Express came to the attention of American audiences thanks to the efforts of director Quentin Tarantino, whose own brand of fractured storytelling and urban cool owes a debt to Wong Kar-Wai.
by Judd Blaise synopsis