Days of Being Wild

Days of Being Wild

Rating: 8/10
Year: 1990
Genre: Drama
Director: Wong Kar-Wai
Cast: Leslie Cheung, Maggie Cheung, Andy Lau, Carina Lau, Rebecca Pan, Jacky Cheung, Danilo Antunes, Hung Mei-Mei, Ling-Hung Ling

Days of Being Wild is not a must-see, but all things Wong Kar-Wai, it is a should see. If you are a follower of the director's great films, then certainly this film will not disappoint.


However, compared to his other features, Days of Being Wild is oddly linear --verbally and visually. Be it because it's only his second film, it still has the charm, style, and footprint of Wong's imagination.


Days of Being Wild preludes two films of Wong's: In The Mood For Love and 2046. If you are a fan of both, you'll certainly want to see this one as Days of Being Wild can serve as a bridge of the two films.

Characters such played by Tony Leung, Carina Lau, Maggie Cheung, Rebecca Pan and others are all set to repeat. Interestingly, the director made the three films as an informal trilogy. Although you might see the same faces, playing the same characters, you'll find the era, themes, and motivations are all different.

Shot and created in different decades, (Days of Being Wild in the 80s, In The Mood For Love in the 90s, and 2046 shot in 21st century) the one thing that is quite fascinating is that the director keeps internal characteristics intact.

Heartbreak, motivations, and tendencies all pretty much survive in all the characters. The might be acting in a different era or location - but their true self was left intact in all three films in one for of another.

Wong even decided to use familiar music choices to help bridge the characters in all three films.


Although filmed as an informal trilogy, each film can stand firmly on its own. So if you happen to just see one and not the other two, it will be perfectly fine as this was the director's intention. Each film is a standalone -- and successfully done in its own right.

This leads to Days of Being Wild. Compared to its other two, the film's story is pretty linear and lacks the explosiveness as the others. But inside you'll find hints of Wong's ability to tell impeccable love stories through simple visual tastes. His choice of shots, screen composition are so simple yet effective.


Wong has the ability to say so much with so little. In one of the scenes, while carrying a heavy heart, Maggie Cheung (character survives in both In The Mood For Love and 2046) seeks solace in Andy Lau. Andy Lau, a poor police officer, is on the night shift. Maggie tags along as the officer patrols the streets. As the night goes on, the two enjoy a brisk stroll in the richness of the night.

Wong's ability to tell a story, through subtle shot techniques, is uncanny in the film business. On paper, the two are just walking the quiet streets. On film, the two are beautifully vulnerable people taking to the streets. You can only empathize and wish well for the characters. In a sense, their pain and heartaches are almost next-door. We have all been there and felt that.


Combined with his mastery choice of soundtracks, and unbelievable film shots, Wong's Days of Being Wild has charm that will leave a lasting impression on you. See it, and enjoy being suspended into the mind of one the greatest directors our time.

Cool guy(s) - Leslie Cheung, Maggie Cheung

Reviewed by: Mike Vu