Chungking Express (1994) - full transcript

Wong Kar-Wai's movie about two love-struck cops is filmed in impressionistic splashes of motion and color. The first half deals with Cop 223, who has broken up with his girlfriend of five years. He purchases a tin of pineapples with an expiration date of May 1 each day for a month. By the end of that time, he feels that he will either be rejoined with his love or that it too will have expired forever. The second half shows Cop 663 dealing with his breakup with his flight attendant girlfriend. He talks to his apartment furnishings until he meets a new girl at a local lunch counter.

You brush past
so many people every day.

Some you may never know
anything about,

but others might become
your friend someday.

I'm a cop. My name is He Qiwu,

and 223 is my badge number.

Move it!


Out of the way!


That was the closest
we ever got...

just 0.01 cm between us.

Fifty-seven hours later,

I fell in love with this woman.

Hello? Ma'am? This is Qiwu.

No, I called to talk to you,
not May.

How are you?

Oh, I'm fine.

Yes, best to let May
cool down for a while.

I'm sure she'll call
when she's ready.

Please don't tell her
I called, okay?

You're going to a movie?
I won't keep you.

Is your husband there?

Sir? This is Qiwu.

No, don't call May.
I just called to say hi to you.

Is your cough better?

You're rushing out?
I won't keep you then. No, it's all right.

Is May's sister there? No?

How about her other sister?
I just wanted to say hi.

We all have our habits.
Mine is to wait here

for May to get off work.

The boss here says she looks like
Yamaguchi Momoe. She likes that.

She and I just broke up.

She wished I were more like
Tomokazu Miura myself.

Message for account 368?

Password is
"Love You for 10,000 Years."

Call Ming? You mean May?

Spell it.

M-I-N-G? It's not M-A-Y?

Sure there's no mistake?
You're sure?

Don't you know English?

Ming? I knew it!

I guess May asked you to call.

I'm fine.
Tell her not to worry, okay?

I'll take good care of myself.

But tell her she can call
anytime she wants.

No reason to bother you.

She didn't tell you to call me?

Then why did you page me?

You're jogging?
Did you get dumped again?

No? Then why go jogging?

A race? You've lost your mind!

Jogging is private.
You don't jog for an audience.

Forget it. Bye.

We all get our hearts broken

Whenever I do, I go jogging.

The body loses water
when you jog,

so I don't cry as easily.

I can't be crying.

May always thought
I was a cool guy.

Still no go with your girlfriend?

It's been a month.

Find someone else.

How about May here?
She's not bad.

She's off early tonight.
Ask her out.

She has a crush on you.

Can't. I have a date tonight.

Some other time.

Is this one okay, miss?

Get a bigger one,
but nothing fancy.

Give them some beers.

Check, please.

Sometimes I'd spend
the night at May's.

So her parents
wouldn't find out,

I'd climb down
from the balcony.

Will I ever get
to do that again?

- How much?
- $2,500.

These too.

The date on the can tells me

I don't have much time left.

If I don't find those Indians,
I'll be in deep trouble.

I don't know when
I started being so cautious.

If I put on a raincoat,
I wear sunglasses too.

You never know if it's going
to rain or be sunny.

Messages for 368?

Password, please.

"Love You for 10,000 Years."

Anyone page me?

No, no one's called
for you all day.

Okay. Thanks.

We broke up on April Fool's Day,
so I took it as a joke.

I'm willing to humor her
for a month.

Every day I buy

a can of pineapple
with an expiration date of May 1,

because May loves pineapple,

and May 1 is my birthday.

I tell myself

that if May hasn't come back
by the time I've bought 30 cans,

then our love will expire too.

Sir, this can expires tomorrow.

Why don't you get another one?

It's all right.

What time's
your earliest flight tomorrow?

I want to reserve a seat.

One person.

- Have you seen these people?
- No.

Look carefully.
They have kids with them.

I really don't know.

- You really don't know him?
- No, I don't.

I've seen you talking to him!

- Papa!
- It's all right.

My daughter!


What do you want?

If you don't have some news
within an hour,

you'll never see
your daughter again.

An ice cream for her, please.


Some men might sacrifice
their own kid for money,

but he wasn't one of them.
One hour later, I left.


It's been six months
since I nabbed anyone,

but I finally caught
a wanted man today.

Whenever I had good news,
I always wanted May

to be the first to know.


I'll kill you, Tomokazu Miura!

You have any pineapple
that expires on May 1?

- What's the date today?
- April 30.

That's right.
Think I stock outdated goods?

There's still two hours to go.

Nobody wants stale goods.
Get a fresh can.

With you people it's always
"Out with the old, in with the new!"

You realize what goes
into making a can of pineapple?

The fruit is grown, harvested, sliced -
and you just throw it away!

How do you think
the pineapple feels?

Buddy, I just work here.

Who cares about the pineapple?
What about how I feel?

I stock and restock
this stuff all day.

I wish it would never expire.
It'd save me loads of work.

You like expired goods?

Have a whole case on the house.

When did everything start

having an expiration date?

Swordfish expires.
Meat sauce expires.

Even plastic wrap expires.

I'm starting to wonder: Is there
anything in this world that doesn't?

how about some swordfish?

It's expired. I don't want it.

You don't want it?

I finally found my 30th can

in a convenience store.

As May 1 begins,
I begin to understand.

In May's eyes,

I'm no dierent
from a can of pineapple.

You don't want any?
It's delicious.

People say dogs
are man's best friend.

So how come mine
won't share my grief now?

This must be
some kind of record.

I ate all 30 cans that night.

Good thing for me
that May wasn't into durian.

I feel like going out
and celebrating.

May's probably in bed by now.

But what about that other May?

What brings you back here?

I'm thinking of going
to a late movie.

She's long gone.


You thought she'd wait around?
Women can't afford to.

The longer they wait,
the more nervous they get.

Drives them crazy.

She just left with Richard.

You gotta move quickly.

I never dreamed

two Mays could dump me
in one night.

To get over it, I resolve

never to go out
with another May.

Hello? Lulu?

This is Qiwu.

Want to come out for a drink?

You're in bed already?

This early?

You were asleep?

Never mind. Bye.


Guess who.


Want to come out for a drink?

Your husband won't let you?
When did you get married?

Five years ago?

We haven't seen each other
in over five years?

You have two kids?

You're happy. That's great.

Well, all the best.


Is Kong Siu-Wai there?

This is He Qiwu.

We went to fourth grade together.
You remember?

You don't?

Doesn't matter. Bye.

Those 30 cans of pineapple
had left me feeling queasy,

so I went to a bar.

I'd heard alcohol
can settle the stomach.

Are you okay?

Fine. Another double.

There's a song called
"Love Dies at Dawn."

That's how I feel now.

What can I do to forget May?

I tell myself I'll fall in love

with the first woman
who walks in.

What can I get you?

Whiskey, please.

I have a feeling she'll like me,

but just to be safe,
I decide to ask her a question.

Excuse me, miss,
do you like pineapple?

Maybe she's not Cantonese.

Tell me, do you like pineapple?

Do you like pineapple, miss?

Your Mandarin's not bad.

I grew up in Taiwan.
What about you?

I'm not in the mood to talk.

Please leave me alone.

We don't have to talk.

Could I just sit here?

There are lots of seats.
Why do you have to sit next to me?

I can tell you're lonely.



There are only three reasons
a woman would wear shades this late.

First, she's blind.

Second, she's a poseur.

Or third, she got jilted

and doesn't want people
to see she's been crying.

And which one am I?

The jilted woman.

It's okay.

It happens all the time.
Why cry about it?

I've been there too.
I usually go jogging.

I run until I work up a sweat.

Then there's no water left
for tears.

Wanna try it?

I've been running around
all night. I'm exhausted.

If you're looking to chat,

please find someone else.

I don't particularly
want to talk.

I just want
to keep you company.

I know how it feels
to have your heart broken.

A heartbroken woman
needs a shoulder to lean on.

You can pretend
I'm your boyfriend if you want.

I don't have a boyfriend.

And I don't have a girlfriend.

How old are you?

Two hours ago, I was still 24.
Now I'm 25.

I won't like you.

Don't be so sure.

Give me a chance.
We might hit it off.

Do you like pineapple?

What business is that of yours?

I'm just trying
to learn more about you.

I was involved
with a girl for five years.

But then she dumped me.

She said
I didn't understand her.

So I want to get to know you.

You'll never get to know me.

Then try to get to know me.

What kind of man do you like?

Actually, really knowing someone
doesn't mean anything.

People change.

A person may like
pineapple today

and something else tomorrow.


We're closing up.

They're closing.

Wanna go jogging?

I just want somewhere to rest.

When she said "rest",
I didn't think she actually meant it.

That night, I watched
two old movies on TV

and had four chef's salads.

When the sun rose,
I knew I had to go.

As I was leaving,
I took off her shoes.

My mother used to say
a woman's feet swell up

if she sleeps in high heels.

She must have walked
a lot that night.

Such a pretty woman
should have clean shoes.

I was actually born
at 6:00 a.m.,

so I'll really be 25
two minutes from now.

I've spent a quarter of a century
on this planet!

To celebrate this historic moment,
I go jogging.

I'll get rid of my body's
excess water.

It feels good.

As I leave the track,
I decide to ditch my pager.

I know very well
no one's gonna call me today.

Account 368.

Password, please.

"Love You for 10,000 Years."

Your friend in room 702 says
happy birthday.

Thank you.

On May 1, 1994,

a woman wishes me
happy birthday.

Now I'll remember her
all my life.

If memories ever come in a can,

I hope that can never expires.

If it has to have a shelf life,
I hope it's 10,000 years.

A Coke, please.

Jogging again?

Running around
isn't gonna solve anything.

Listen, Faye's not bad either.

Who's Faye?

Just started here today.

Make your move
before Richard beats you to it.

- I'm not into guys.
- Guys?

Coming through!

That was the closest
we ever got...

just 0.01 cm between us.

I knew nothing about her.

Six hours later,

she fell in love
with another man.

Chef's salad, please.

For here or to go?

To go.

You new here?
I haven't seen you before.

You like listening
to loud music?

Yes. The louder the better.

Keeps me from thinking so much.

You don't like to think?

What do you like?

I'll tell you when I find out.

And what do you like?

Chef's salad.

A chef's salad, boss.

Chef's salad again?

Aren't you tired of them yet?

- It's not for me.
- Your girlfriend?

Is that her favorite?

She never said it wasn't.

Maybe she'd like
something different for once.

Try fish and chips.
It's delicious.

What if she doesn't like it?

Get both and let her choose.

You can't go wrong.

- Isn't that wasting money?
- It's not that much.

It's good to give her a choice.

Okay. One chef's salad,
one fish and chips.

All right!


Fish and chips, please, boss.


I told you she'd like it.

You were right.

She never told me
she didn't like chef's salad.

You never...

You never gave her a choice.

If you had,
she might have told you.

Anyway, now you broke the routine.
Try pizza tonight.

I don't know
if she'd like pizza.

Then do the same thing:
Get both.

It won't break the bank.


Want to try
something different again?

The hot dogs are good.

No, thanks. Just black coffee.

Nothing for your girlfriend?

She left.


Said she wanted
to try some new dishes.

I guess she's right.

Plenty of choice in men,
just like food.

I guess I should've stuck
with the chef's salad.

It's no big deal.

She'll try someone else
and see you're better.

She'll come running back.
Don't worry.


On every flight, there's one stewardess
you long to seduce.

This time last year,
at 25,000 feet,

I actually seduced one.

I thought we'd stay together
for the long haul,

flying like a jumbo jet
on a full tank.

But there was an unexpected
change of course.

Black coffee, please.

A week and she's not back?

Excuse me.

Maybe she does have
lots of choices.

Then put her out of your mind.

You have plenty of choices too.

Black coffee every night's
no good for you.

Can't change just like that.
Have to go slow.

Don't worry. I'll be okay.

If you say so.

Excuse me. The policeman who buys
a chef's salad here every night...

You mean No. 633?

He's off today.

Isn't he off on Saturdays?

He changed shifts.
Didn't he tell you?

If you see him again,
could you please give him this?

Sure, no problem.

Thank you.

I have to step out.

I have some things
to take care of.

We're taking a break.

- Where are you going?
- I have to go out too.

You here alone tonight?

Everyone was here a minute ago.

They ran off
just as you walked up.

Something wrong with me?


- Black coffee.
- Thanks.

Last night...

some girl...


Last night some girl...

Can you turn that music
down a bit?

A girl waited around
a long time for you last night.

She left a letter for you.


A stewardess.

- You wanna read it?
- After my coffee.

Hey, your letter!

Keep it for me.
I'll get it next time.

Hey, boss.

What are you doing here?

I'm on duty.

- Where's No. 633?
- He's on leave.

On leave?

Said he got hurt by a pin.
He's recuperating at home.

Hurt by a pin?
What's he talking about?

Ever since she left,
everything in the apartment is sad.

I have to comfort them all
before I go to sleep.

You've lost a lot of weight,
you know.

You were so chubby before.

Now look at yourself.
You're so skinny.

Have more confidence
in yourself.

I told you to stop crying.
How long are you going to cry?

You have to be strong.

You're so limp and shapeless.
Look at you.

I'll help you.

There. Isn't that more comfy?

Why don't you say something?

Don't be mad at her.

We all have moments of doubt.

Give her a chance.


Feeling lonely?

You're a real mess.

You cold? I'll warm you up.

- Hello.
- How are you?

It's all ready. Need any help?

It's not much. I'll manage.

Excuse me.

Pardon me.

- Hello.
- Oh, it's you.

Are you better?


He said you got hurt by a pin.

Don't listen to his nonsense.

You haven't been
around much lately.

I changed shifts.
I'm on this beat now.


- Want some help?
- Sure.

See you later.

It's so heavy!

It's light today.

Your job must be hard.

Work's never fun.

Why'd you take this job?

My cousin couldn't find
anyone else.

I'm just helping out for now.

What did you do before?

Lots of things.

I'm saving up.

To go to school?

Never thought of that.

I just want to enjoy life.

How? Where?


Maybe California.

California? Is it fun there?

I said maybe.
If it's not, I can move on.

You like to travel?

Don't you?

I can take it or leave it.

You can come with me.
I almost have enough.

We'll see.

Are you always like this?

You never came to get
that letter.

I've been busy.

Give me your address.
I'll mail it.

Otherwise it'll get lost.


You live close by.

Yeah, right down there.
Drop by sometime.

I will.

Well, let's keep going.

You're really sweating.

Sure you can manage?

I'm fine.

Stop daydreaming, will you?

Think you're a rock star?

You've been fooling around
with that all day.

Who'd wanna eat it now?

Use a toilet roll or something.

You too!

I'm not daydreaming.

That's right.
You're sleepwalking!

That's right. I'm sleepwalking.

Whatever you say.

I'm sleepwalking.

I had a dream that afternoon.

It seemed I was
in his apartment

and that I'd wake up
when I left.

I didn't know you never wake up
from some dreams.

Some days I go home for lunch,

because there's always
a chance...

I know you're in there.

Come on out.

I'll count to three.




She used to jump out
and scare me,

but she hasn't done it
much recently.

I guess games get old
after a while.

Maybe she's hiding
in the bathroom.




- Roast pork and rice.
- Thanks.

Excuse me.


- Eating here again, huh?
- Yes.

Will you be here a while?


No reason.

Where are you going?

I forgot something.

Oh, I still haven't
mailed your letter.

No hurry.

All right.
I'll get around to it.

Why are you back?

I have to pay the electricity bill.
Can I leave this here?

Hello? Cousin?

I'm still at the market.

It's pouring rain here.

It's pouring. Listen.

What are you talking about?
It's sunny over here.

Really? Must be a local shower.

I'll be back when it stops.

Don't forget
the electricity bill.

I won't.

I'm going now.

It's okay.

I'll be back to see you soon.

These are for you.

Why all the lychees?

They're for a friend.

Where are you?

Paying the electricity bill.

All this time?

It's packed here.
I can hardly get in the store.

I have to wait in line.

How come it's always so crowded?
You've been trying for days.

I don't want to.

I'm doing my best.
Should I try again tomorrow?

Try another store.

Another store?

Okay. You're sure?


Been shopping?

A friend is redecorating
his place.

- You sure are busy.
- I certainly am.

Black coffee again.
It's bad for you.

If you can't sleep at night,
drink water.

Man in my dreams

I hold you tight for a minute

And kiss you for hours


You stole into my heart

And set it all awhirl

I've been in love
with you before

But never felt so close
to you as now

My thoughts careen
out of control

Why have you taken me by storm

Bursting into my dreary dreams

Sending shock waves
in every direction

Man in my dreams

I want you to be real

My heart can no longer resist

Searching in my dreams

At this minute I'm waiting

To kiss you for hours

Hi, it's me.

The plane's back in Hong Kong.
Want to make a reservation?

I'm at the same number. Call me.

Nice hair!
Did it take long to grow?

None of your business.

Kind of a flirt, isn't she?

I guess so.

What is it?

Have you known her long?


One day I had this sudden
feeling she was back.

Did I leave the faucet running,

or is the apartment
getting more weepy?

I thought it would cope all right.

I didn't expect it
to weep this much.

When people cry,
you just give them a tissue.

But when an apartment cries,
it's a lot of work to mop it up.

What are you doing here?

- I live here.
- You live here?

What are you doing here?

I came to buy goldfish.

- Someone around here sell goldfish?
- No.

Then why come to buy goldfish?
You buying or selling?

What? No... I mean, I'm buying.

Stop it! I forget everything
when I'm scared.

Why are you scared?

I got scared
when I saw you here.

I'm going now.

You said you were going. Well?

I can't move my legs.
I'd go if I could.

You have a cramp?

I don't know.
It's never happened before.

Maybe you should come in
and sit down.

When she'd return from a long flight,
I'd massage her legs.

Being a stewardess
is a tough job.

I've always found
women's legs sexy.

But I haven't touched any
since she left.

- Better?
- I guess.

- Can I go now?
- Stay a while longer.

I'll put on some music.

You like this song too?

Not really.
My girlfriend liked it.

She really liked this song?


I know it isn't true.

That's my CD.
I left it here a few days ago.

I'm starting to wonder:
Can sleepwalking be contagious?

I guess I've been too nervous.

After a while, I fell asleep.

The girl fell asleep
in my place that afternoon.

I thought about waking her up,

but for some reason I didn't.

Oh, no!

Watch out for the flames.

Make sure
those candles are secure.

Don't burn yourself.

What's gotten into you lately?

Why didn't you pay
the electricity bill?

Where have you been
going every day?

I went to see the doctor.

The doctor? I haven't seen you
taking any medicine.

You just didn't notice.

Did he say
when you'd get better?

Should be any day now.

You're crazy!

Maybe it's the change of season,

but lately I've changed a lot.

I've become more observant.

I notice things
I used to take for granted.

Even the sardines taste different.

You mustn't let yourself go.

You were fine before.
Now you've suddenly put on weight.

She left,
but you have to carry on.

You can't go on
indulging yourself.

You know, I have to tell you:

You've totally changed.

You can't just
change personality like this.

Her walking out is no excuse.

I want you to think about that.

It was a relief
when I saw it crying.

It may look different
on the outside,

but it's still true to itself.

It's still
a very emotional towel.

Have you noticed
I've perked up?

Things are starting
to look better.

You used to look sorta dumb,

but now you're looking
quite cute.

But you mustn't
let yourself get so dirty.

You used to be
so clean and white.

Now you've turned all yellow.

Look at these scars.

Have you been
getting in fights?

Why were you hiding in there?

I've been looking
all over for you.

What's the point of hiding?

You have to face reality.

You're all moldy.

Tell you what.
I'm not busy tomorrow.

I'll take you out for some sun.

What are you doing
in my apartment?

You said to drop by!

Open up
or I'll break the door down!

There's someone
looking for you.

- Me?
- Yeah.

- What do you want?
- I've come for my letter.

What letter? Ask the boss.

You were keeping it.

He said you had it.

I do?

I have it?

Oh, right.

I was afraid someone might take it.
I didn't read it.


Are you free tomorrow night?

Why do you ask?

- I want to ask you out.
- On a date?

The boss says
you're off tomorrow.

So I have to go on a date?

Think it over.

I'll meet you across the street
at the California at 8:00.

That music's not your style.

Here's your CD back.

Damn it!

Damn it, damn it, damn it!

No. 633 is a smooth operator.

- It's 663.
- Whatever it is!


- Where's my Coke?
- I'm out of cups!

I gave my place
a thorough cleaning that afternoon.

It was like clearing the runway
for another plane to land.

I got to the California
really early that night.

I half expected a flight delay,

so I got some loose change.

Change, please.

Half an hour later,
I broke another $10 bill.

I started thinking
maybe the flight was canceled.

She isn't coming.

She asked me to give you this.

Don't look so down.

She didn't work out,
so try another girl.

May's coming back tomorrow.
Give her a try.

- Where is she?
- She quit.

Said she was going
to California.

That's all.


I didn't read the letter.

Some things take time
to sink in.

After the snack-bar manager left,

I started talking
to the beer bottles.


Not really.

Go home to bed.
She's not coming.

Actually, she wasn't
a no-show that night.

She just got the place wrong.

We were
in different Californias

15 hours apart.

It must be 11:00 a.m.
over there now.

I wonder if she'll remember
our 8:00 p.m. date here.

What a coincidence!

Not on duty tonight?

That's right.

How are you?

Fine. And you?

I'm okay.

You alone?

No, I'm with a friend.

He's your type.

You still have stuff
at my place.

Come get it sometime.

That's all right.
Just throw it out.

All right.

I gotta go.

I still think
you look better in uniform.

So do you.

Hey, you didn't pay.

You pay for me.

How much is it?

The letter turned out to be
a boarding pass dated for one year later,

but I couldn't make out

the destination.

I actually did show up
that evening.

I knew it would get crowded,
so I got there at 7:15.

It was pouring outside.

Watching through the window,
I saw a rainy California.

I needed to know if the other
California was warm and sunny.

I decided to give myself
one year.

Tonight it's raining
as hard as it was then.

Looking out this window,

there's just one person
in my thoughts.

I wonder if he ever
opened my letter.

What are you doing here?


What are you doing here?

Is that really you?

Yeah. What are you doing here?



Where's my cousin?

He opened a karaoke bar.

Said he needed a change.

He let me take over here.
Didn't he tell you?

No, I haven't seen him.

He's a shrewd businessman.

First he sells me
fish and chips,

and then the whole shop.


I said your cousin
is a shrewd businessman!

Since when do you like
this loud music?

With a little time,
I get used to things.

Did you go to California?
Was it fun?


was okay. Nothing special.

You look good in uniform.

You look nice like that too.

Want something to eat?

I better not.

I fly out real early tomorrow.

When will you be back?

My grand opening
is in two days.

I don't know.

This might be a long trip.

Write to me when you reach
wherever it is.

You probably
wouldn't read it anyway.

I have to ask you something.

Would you let someone board

with a boarding pass like this?

It's dated today,
but it got blurred in the rain.

I can't tell

where it's taking me.
Do you know?


but I'll give you another one.


Where do you want to go?

Doesn't matter.
Wherever you want to take me.

Written and Directed by







Special Guest Appearance by



Special Thanks to...

Presented by

Produced by

Production Supervisor

Production Manager

Production Design - WILLIAM CHANG
Art Direction - ALFRED YAU

Cinematography by CHRISTOPHER

Music By

Sound Recording by LEUNG TAT, LEUNG

Lighting by


Executive Producer

Assistant Director