For The Film Experience, I took part in this week’s edition of “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” in which you pick your favorite shot from a chosen film. This edition covers Wong Kar-Wai’s 1997 love story Happy Together.
This is actually the second of two consecutive shots I was fond of. The first shot features Ho (Leslie Cheung) in the bed on the right, newly patched up from a beating he received the night before. On the left, Lai (Tony Leung) holds his head in his hands, exasperated from tending to his wounds and sorting him out. My shot choice is the following morning, a smash cut where the camera is flipped and Ho is looking intently at a sleeping Lai, with energy and anticipation.
This film focuses on a fracturing relationship, mostly because it’s two people who have intense physical passion but can’t get on the same page emotionally at any point. Ho pulls Lai into adventures, while Lai wants quiet togetherness. Ho isn’t built that way, so he puts himself into situations where Lai is forced to rescue him. Lai can live without Ho, but Ho cannot stop himself from dragging Lai down with him.
This shot personifies their relationship. Lai is tired after caring for Ho, while Ho is ready to start more trouble.
It’s an excellent film I would highly recommend to those who are fans of queer cinema and the films of Wong Kar-Wai in general.
Happy Together is currently streaming on the Criterion Channel
Feel free to play along yourself here or using the hashtag #BestShot.