In movies, romantic passion is often depicted as a force of nature that no one can resist or deny. With the unforgettable Happy Together (1997), writer/director Wong Kar-Wai (Chungking Express) reminds us that the most turbulent passions can also destroy you. Hong Kong superstars Tony Leung and Leslie Cheung portray incendiary lovers Lai and Ho, who visit Argentina in an attempt to mend their fractious relationship but end up broke, unable to get home, and still trapped in their cycle of angry breakups and passionate makeups. Such a story could be unremittingly grim, but Wong and his wonderful cast breathe life into these sad circumstances. And Wong’s sheer rapture with what film—not the medium, but the celluloid stock itself—can capture gives Happy Together an almost symphonic feel, as it shifts among colors, speeds, and exposures to contrast emotional states or emphasize moments or gestures. If love conquers all, this potent story of l’amour fou shows what becomes of the conquered.