Happy Together 春光乍泄(1997)

Overview

Chinese Name:春光乍泄

English Name:Happy Together

Director: Wong Kar-wai王家卫

Screenwriter: Wong Kar-wai王家卫

Starring: Leslie Cheung张国荣Tony Leung Chiu-wai梁朝伟Chang Chen张震

Release Year:1997

Running time : 96 mins

Happy Together
Happy Together

Brief Introduction of Happy Together

Directed by Wong Kar Wai and starring Zhang Guorong, Liang Chaowei, and Zhang Zhen, the film was released in Hong Kong, China on May 30, 1997. The film tells the story of a pair of same-sex lovers who went to South America and stayed in Buenos Aires because they got lost. Then they broke up because of a series of contradictions. In 1997, the film was shortlisted in the official competition unit of the 50th Cannes International Film Festival, and Wong Kar Wai won the best director award of the 50th Cannes International Film Festival with this film. Tony Leung won the 17th Hong Kong Film Awards for best actor.

Plot of Happy Together

He Baorong (Leslie Cheung, also starring in Days of Being Wild) and Li Yaohui are a same-sex couple. They went to Argentina together. He Baorong bought an old desk lamp from the stall. The waterfall on the lampshade fascinated them. Finally, they learned that it was Iguazu waterfall, so they made an appointment to look for it together, but they stayed in Buenos Aires because they got lost.

The good times didn’t last long. He Baorong thought Li Yaohui was too boring. He was tired of such a life. He left Li Yaohui without saying a word and disappeared into the wilderness by the road. After the two broke up, Hui worked as a waiter in a tavern to make money, while Rong made a living by hooking up with foreign comrades, but they still care about each other in their hearts.

Happy Together-still-4
Happy Together-still-4

A few months later, the two met accidentally in the pub. He Baorong intended to “start over” with Li Yaohui. Li Yaohui still thought about Baorong in his heart, but he refused Rong several times. One night, Rong, who was injured all over, found Hui’s residence. He gave Hui the watch given by the foreigner and was beaten by the foreigner. Hui placed Rong in his place and took Rong’s passport when sorting Rong’s clothes.

The two were able to mend their friendship because of this incident. Rong, who was injured in both hands, was unable to take care of himself and stayed in Hui’s rented small house. So Hui took good care of Rong every day. Their relationship was restored and they had a warm and beautiful time. Hui went out to work to support his family every day, cooked for Rong, and angrily smashed Rong’s foreign comrades with wine bottles for Rong. They hugged and danced in the kitchen late at night. This beautiful past has always remained in Hui and Rong’s hearts.

Happy Together-still-1
Happy Together-still-1

Li Yaohui worked as a cook in a restaurant. He met Zhang Wan who traveled around the world without permission. He also helped in the kitchen to raise money. Rong suspects Hui of having an affair with Xiao Zhang because of a phone call. Rong often goes out of the street after his injury. Hui suspects that he has another new lover. The two don’t trust each other and have a contradiction. After the quarrel, Rong wants to leave, but Hui refuses to return Rong’s passport to Rong. Rong runs away from home in anger.

From then on, Hui avoids Rong. Hui felt that Xiao Zhang was very much like Baorong when he was young and had a good impression of him. Unexpectedly, Xiao Zhang suddenly wanted to travel to the southernmost tip of America, which is said to be the end of the world. When he separated, Hui felt very sad and hard to say. After Xiao Zhang left, Hui returned to Hong Kong to work in a slaughterhouse to raise money.

Happy-Together-still-2-1
Happy-Together-still-2-1

He Baorong found Hui’s old residence in Buenos Aires but found that Hui had left, leaving only the waterfall lamp and Rong’s passport on the table. Rong cleaned the house and lived in the small room where they once lived together, but no one would cook, brush and dry the quilt for him, no one would quarrel and quarrel with him, no one would stop him from leaving the street with jealousy, and no one would dance and hug him deeply in the narrow kitchen in the cold night of Buenos Aires.

Rong repaired the broken waterfall lamp and suddenly found two people standing under the waterfall. Rong knew there was no hope to find Hui in his life and told him to “start over”, holding Hui’s red blanket and crying.

Happy-Together-still-3
Happy-Together-still-3-1

Hui’s life lost its direction. Confused, he remembered the sentence “it’s better to start over”. Hui drove his car to find the waterfall that Rong should have swam with him. Under the waterfall, Hui was soaked by the torrent of the waterfall. He couldn’t tell whether a tear had fallen. He felt lonely and decided to return to Hong Kong. On the way, he took a detour to Zhang Wan’s home in Taipei. He didn’t see Xiao Zhang, but he learned something there. If he wants to wander outside happily, he must have a place to go back.

Accolades of Happy Together

CeremonyCategoryOutcome
1997 Cannes Film FestivalBest DirectorWon
7th Arizona International Film FestivalAudience Award – Most Popular Foreign FilmWon
34th Golden Horse AwardsBest CinematographyWon
17th Hong Kong Film AwardsBest ActorWon
4th Hong Kong Film Critics Society AwardsFilm of MeritWon

Film Review of Happy Together

WONDERFUL. A poignant portrait of a relationship between two men uprooted from their home country, Happy Together explores the ups and downs, the pros and cons of commitment, as the lead characters careen and collide against each other with their discordant personalities acted out wonderfully.

IMDb

For all the simplicity of the narrative, ‘Happy Together’ is anything but slight. It’s a moody, contemplative piece of work, and a vividly tactile one as well, lingering on food, smoke, bodies, blood, and water.

Rotten Tomatoes

Renewable Love, and Other Fallacies of Youth

New York Times

HAPPY TOGETHER 4K | Official Trailer (English)

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