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Happy Together

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DVD 1-Disc Version

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A stunning display of filmmaking style and a fascinating love story evenly mixed into one film. Winner of the Best Director prize at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival, Wong Kar-Wai's "Happy Together" stars Tony Leung and Leslie Cheung as gay lovers living out the waning days of their relationship in this dazzlingly distinctive film.


The expressionistic, stylized visual brilliance (courtesy of Australian cinematographer Christopher Doyle) of Happy Together is so breathtaking and enveloping it nearly detracts from this startling, queasy, despairing glimpse at a gay relationship gone amok. Director Wong Kar-Wai (Chungking Express, Fallen Angels) won the Best Director Prize at Cannes in 1997--surprising many--but on viewing the film it's easy to see why. The subject matter may not be the easiest to swallow--any relationship on the rocks sometimes gets dirty and pathetically disturbing--but there is a universality to Happy Together that rings true and real and less like an edition of The Honeymooners than isolation tinged with the embarrassment of intimacy. Ho (Leslie Cheung) and Lai (Tony Leung) have left Hong Kong for Buenos Aires. The journey is another in Ho's attempts to "start over." But their initial optimism is short-lived, and once they become dislocated strangers in this strange land it only further thrusts the two into their already codependent, caretaking dark love affair. But like all crazy love, the trip through masochistic hell--from violence to apathy--leads to self-enlightenment, and Wong Kar-Wai's gorgeous, grasping film is true, tricky, difficult, and emotionally wrought, aided by Hong Kong superstars Cheung and Leung, who contribute greatly to creating a work that is exceptional--and lump-in-throat brutal--in image, story, and performance. --Paula Nechak

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Leslie Cheung, Tony Chiu Wai Leung, Chen Chang, Gregory Dayton, Shirley Kwan
  • Directors: Kar Wai Wong
  • Writers: Kar Wai Wong
  • Producers: Kar Wai Wong, Ye-cheng Chan
  • Format: Black & White, Color, Letterboxed, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: Mandarin Chinese (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Kino Video
  • DVD Release Date: September 2, 2003
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (100 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305394717
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #145,242 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Happy Together" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

It depicts a drawn out and very messy breakup of two desperately in love young men.
Well, the texture of this film is familiar; it's very Wong Kar Wai, and I wasn't so much impressed by the style of the film as by the content.
It just impresses me to see a film, like Happy Together, where all the elements come together and work in unison.
A. Gyurisin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

88 of 93 people found the following review helpful By Vargiu Riccardo James on July 22, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
Happy Together, by Chinese director Wong Kar-Wai, is one of my all-time favourite movies, and - along with The Tango Lesson - one of the movies that has affected me the most. To me, HT is one of those (rare) art products that manage to combine formal beauty, intellectual sharpness and emotional depth all into one.

I have watched HT many times, and each time I felt that it had a new meaning to convey. My impressions about this movie have therefore shifted with time, leading me not to a definite interpretation but to the knowledge that art - as life itself - can be looked at from different points of view.

The story line is quite simple: two lovers leave Hong Kong and go to Argentina; once there, they argue so much they decide to break up; one of them (Ho Po-Wing) prostitutes himself, while the other (Lai-Yiu Fai) works in a tango-bar and virtuously puts money aside to return home; one day, chance unites them and for a short while they live happily together; inevitably, however, the friskier one becomes dissatisfied with their conjugal life; they separate again, and this time it's really the end. Needless to say, the movie's title - as light-hearted as it sounds - is actually quite deceiving: the two men's relationship turns out to be a rather "unhappy" one.

The first few times I watched HT I couldn't help feeling disgusted by Ho Po-Wing's moral hideousness - I thought of him as the negative-model the movie meant to point the finger against. I thought the movie proved that although there are no "real heroes" some people do behave better than others, and that by self-discipline one could "redeem" one's soul... I thought the movie was about Aesthetics as a means of purification, as if Beauty could protect one from squalor.
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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Karen Robinson on October 16, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
The first time i saw this movie, I have to admit, I fell asleep. And the second time I saw "HAPPY TOGETHER", I fell asleep again. But each time, I just wanted to slap myself because I had been told and knew deep down inside, it was a great movie. And finally, the third time I saw it, the movie just captured my heart.
"HAPPY TOGETHER" is a love story in it's most darkest and bittersweet form. Two gay lovers venture out to Argentina from Hong Kong and the idea of them being happy together is seriously tested. One lover (I can't remember the name) is stable, diligent, and so giving while the other one is just simply a selfish gay slut. They try several times to start over, but each time, the selfish lover wants to eat his cake too.
Like all of Wong Kar-wai's films, this one has little dialogue and the story is told mainly through visuals. The waterfall is a major theme running through the movie. The beginning opens up in black and white and later on, when the lovers start over again, color (in a very Wong Kar-wai-esque cinematic sense of it) comes in. And the soundtrack (mostly Astor Piazola) is just an unforgetable part of the movie.
I heard that before making this film, Wong Kar-wai was reading a lot of Manuel Puig (gay Argentine writer of "KISS OF THE SPIDERWOMAN"). Puig dealt with mainly the themes of unrequited love, impossible love, the love that hurts you more than gives you pleasure. And often, his characters where pretty much society's castoffs, whether because they were gay, revolutionaries, or just plain freaks. You can see a lot of these same themes in many of Wong Kar-wai films, but it hits the hardest in this one.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By The Nippon Newfie on November 13, 2004
Format: DVD
Fans of Chinese director Wong Kar-Wai will be thrilled by this new DVD edition of his classic film Happy Together.

The movie is slow-paced, low-key, and often shot in black in white. It is the story of two gay Chinese men in Buenos Aires, who are more often unhappy together than happy together. It is not an easy movie to watch perhaps and will not appeal to everyone, but as an art film and a gay-themed love story it is a contemporary classic.

I had an earlier release of this DVD, but purchased this new edition to see the making-of documentary Buenos Aires: Zero Degrees, which is a special feature on the new release. The documentary itself is a gem as it reveals so many storylines that did not appear in the final film. It is fascinating to see the directions the film might have taken and how such a different film could have come out of the editing room. We can really appreciate Wong Kar-Wai's process, working without a script, and see the difficulties it causes for the actors. Lead actor Tony Leung's comments about working on the film are especially insightful.

Wong Kar-Wai's In the mood for love is the film that brought him the greatest international recognition perhaps, but Happy Together was an important step on the road to that masterpiece. Few new fans will be won by this DVD, but for those who already appreciate Wong Kar-Wai's work this DVD is a must-have.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By pan-gon on November 17, 2000
Format: DVD
Nowadays, Hong Kong movies on region 1 DVD is still a small numbers in the American market. In compare the remastered with those Hollywood films, Chinese films of DVD version may not be in top form. The R1 "Happy Together" (1997) that released by KINO is one of the good example of that.
The worse thing is the audio part, the volume level is very low and presented in very bad mono sound. (The problem is also occurred in R1 Fallen Angels, another film of Wong Kar-Wai and released by KINO. I doubt that the audio remasterd is in dolby digital 2.0, because my center speaker is no sound, but there is no indication on the package.) In compare with Japanese R2 Version of "Happy Together" (PIBF-7056, price:4700 yen, released by Prenom H), the audio part is brilliant.
However, the video tranferred in R1 version is quite impressed me. It is because the image is very match with the style of Chris Doyle (cinematography of the film) that done in the film.
By the way, I always thought that the disc is released too early.
Block 2 pictures Inc. recent released the documentary film named: "Buenos Aires Zero Degree: The making of Happy Together" (1999). The most important parts in that 59 minutes film is the cut scene, you will see the alternative version or vision of that film, for instance: Lai (Tony Leung) meets a female character on trip to waterfall and the death of Lai. It is not for promotion purposed, it is really a documentary about "Happy Together". If this documentary could be included on DVD, it would make the DVD most perfect. I wish that KINO would released a new DVD special edition of Happy Together with the documentary film and remake the audio channel.
Personally, I hope the disc could be released by Criterion. I'm so sure that if that come true, the disc would not be the same. Finally, If you are a fan of Wong Kar-Wai, don't miss his new movie: "In the Mood for Love" (2000).
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