It takes two to tango

Happy Together is about two gay men, who are pessimistic in love. It tells a story about a Hong Kong, Chinese couple who struggle to stay together satisfactorily and happily. It depicts the real bitter sweetness of trying to be in a relationship with someone. This movie is not really a tale of two happy individuals; it is a portrait of unhappy loners as gay men.

Ho and Lai come to Argentina in order to stay together, but their attempt does not turn out according to plan. The two of them decide to go their separate ways; Lai working in a tango bar and Ho earning a living as a hustler. Both, by chance, meet again at the bar. Despite ignoring one another, they know very well that neither wants to be without the other in this foreign place.

Won Kar Wai, the director, craftily weaved this destructive love story. Not only did he manage successfully to create an unsatisfactory tale of two gay men, he also turned this matter into a stylistic piece of cinema. The cinematography shot by Christopher Doyle was also stunningly elegant. The technique of using colour differently in each scene, sometimes embellished saturated colours and sometimes black and white, was uniquely modish. Some shots were similar to a still picture; it generated a feeling of intimacy. In some ways, I also felt like I was watching collected photos of loneliness. I guess the director might have intended to use the colour as a display of the emotions between the two main characters: gloominess, closeness and sadness.

The music accompanying the movie was impressive too. Tango music, which was played throughout the movie, signified the two protagonists’ relationship. It illustrated their lasciviousness and frustration of living together.

Happy Together is, in general, a flashy and arty film and is uniquely interesting. I feel like I have just finished watching a music video, with a catchy story to tell.


1 Comment

Filed under Film

One response to “It takes two to tango

  1. Hi, we just started a new blog on tango history…each day we post an event that
    happened that day in tango history…it can be the birth of a famous singer,
    composer of poet, the debut of a film or the recording of a famous tango song…
    you can even search tango principles according to their sun sign

    Can you help spread the word by letting your contacts know about it or placing
    a link on your blog…there is no advertising or money involved…we’re
    not selling anything, we simply love tango and in particular tango history…we
    welcome any suggestions…..

    If you come to Rome, please let us know…we would be glad to welcome you
    and show you around; my wife and I love meeting and being with people…thanks, have a
    nice day…well here is the link

    Oscar Wright and Maria Teresa Ruocco
    66 via ovidio
    00195 Rome, italy
    Hm 06-45437139
    Cel: 340-646-7159
    Web Site:

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