Millenium Mambo

Watch Millenium Mambo

  • R
  • 2001
  • 1 hr 59 min
  • 7.0  (6,575)
  • 72

In the movie Millenium Mambo, directed by Hou Hsiao-hsien and released in 2001, we are introduced to Vicky, a young woman in her twenties living in Taipei, Taiwan in the year 2001. Vicky, played by Shu Qi, is the narrator and protagonist of the film, through whose eyes we see the world and events unfold. The movie follows her life over the course of a year, chronicling her relationships, struggles, and experiences.

At the beginning of the film, Vicky is living with her boyfriend Hao-hao (Chun-hao Tuan), a nightclub DJ who is controlling and abusive. Vicky feels trapped in the relationship but cannot bring herself to leave. She spends her days wandering the streets of Taipei, listening to music on her headphones, and her nights partying with Hao-hao and his friends.

One day while out drinking with her friend Jack (Jack Kao), Vicky meets a mysterious man named Jacky (also played by Jack Kao). Jacky is older, suave, and seems to have a lot of money. Vicky is intrigued by him and they strike up a flirtatious relationship. As the film progresses, Vicky grows increasingly drawn to Jacky and begins to spend more and more time with him, even as her relationship with Hao-hao disintegrates.

Despite the glamour and excitement of Vicky's life, there is a pervasive sense of dissatisfaction and aimlessness. She is unable to commit to any one path or person, constantly seeking novelty and change. The film is beautifully shot, with long takes and striking compositions that capture the loneliness and alienation of urban life.

The movie moves at a leisurely pace, focusing on small details and moments rather than big plot points. We see Vicky going about her daily routine, smoking cigarettes, drinking, and dancing. There are fights, breakups, and reconciliations, but they all seem to blend together in a haze of melancholy and ennui.

Throughout the film, music plays a crucial role in setting the mood and tone. The electronic dance music of the nightclubs is contrasted with the dreamy, melancholic ballads that Vicky listens to on her headphones. The soundtrack is a perfect complement to the film's visual style, creating a sense of both excitement and melancholy.

At its core, Millenium Mambo is a meditation on youth, desire, and the search for meaning in a rapidly changing world. Vicky is a complex and fascinating character, simultaneously vulnerable and tough, searching for love and independence. The film is a stunning portrait of contemporary Taipei, capturing the energy and excitement of the city while also acknowledging its darker undercurrents.

Overall, Millenium Mambo is a haunting and mesmerizing film, a poignant exploration of the human experience in the modern world. It is a must-see for fans of arthouse cinema, and a powerful example of the beauty and depth that can be achieved in film.

Millenium Mambo
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 59 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.0  (6,575)
  • Metascore