She must have walked all night… Such a pretty woman should have clean shoes
Among the exquisitely shot Chungking Express, there was a seen so baffling, so sublime, that even four days later I’m at a loss for how to articulate it.
If you’ve seen it, you know already. Cop 223. The woman with the blonde wig. Those. Damn. Shoes.
The scene unfolds as thus: Cop takes Woman back to his room where the seemingly impenetrable bad ass in the blonde wig… sleeps.
Eventually, Cop takes her shoes and cleans them (with his own clothing no less).
This example of love, a love which passes no judgment, is so simple, yet so profound.
How many of us would have felt insecurity in this moment (how many of us would have felt “ripped off”)?
Our cop? He cleans her shoes; a piece of his own clothing is not below the sheen he assumed this woman deserves.
In doing this, he prepares Woman to rejoin her world, though he understands it not.
Again, no jealousy. Again, no sense of being owed anything. This is love. And even then, few of us know it.
The final shot to this scene is the killer. Good deed done. Cop seeks not the gratitude of Woman. He didn’t perform his task for this end.
Instead he simply sets down the shoes in such a way that we are led to believe she may not even notice the gesture.
It matters not.
Cop has done this service as much for himself as he has for Woman. In valuing her, he’s valuing himself.