2046 (2004) Script

In the year 2046, a vast rail network spans the globe A mysterious train leaves for 2046 every once in a while Every passenger going to 2046 has the same intention They want to recapture lost memories Because nothing ever changes in 2046 Nobody really knows if that's true Because nobody's ever come back Except me

If someone wants to leave 2046... how long will it take?

Some people get away fairly easily Others find that it takes them much longer I forget how long I've been on this train I'm starting to feel very lonely

As I recall, many have gone to 2046 You're the first to come back May I ask why you left 20467

Whenever anyone asked why I left 2046...

I gave them some vague answer

Before... when people had secrets they didn't want to share they'd climb a mountain They'd find a tree and carve a hole in it

And whisper the secret into the hole Then cover it over with mud

That way, nobody else would ever discover it I once fell in love with someone After a while, she wasn't there I went to 2046 I thought she might be waiting for me there But I couldn't find her

I can't stop wondering if she loved me or not

if she loved me or not Maybe her answer was like a secret... that no one else would ever know All memories are traces of tears

Didn't you promise not to come back?

I came to see you

Why?

I have no prospects here. So I'll see how things are in Hong Kong

When are you leaving?

The boat sails in two days

Why are you telling me?

I thought we might go together

You know nothing about my past, do you?

If you'd rather not tell me, I don't mind

If you win, I'll join you


She found an indirect way of rejecting me As I recall that was the very last time we saw each other Right after that, I left Singapore


I got back to Hong Kong at the end of 1966 Because of the price raise of ferry ticket There was riots in Kowloon

I wasn't sure how long I'd be staying ...

So I took a room in a small hotel in Wanchai. I wrote columns for the Newspapers

They paid HK$10 per thousand words It was pretty tough at first

As long as I could make ends meet it made no difference what kind of stuff I wrote

“Diary of the Bazooka Hero”

“The new star at Club Luk Kwok is Fei Fei.”

“A knockout beauty with amazing bazookas.”

“A smash hit with tit-lovers.” Hang on, of course I exaggerate I can't say her tits are fake, can I?

I soon got used to this kind of life I became an expert ladies' man Lots of one-night-stands But nothing lasts forever anyway

24 December 1966

Is that really true?

Why would I lie to you?

You really know me?

Weren't you in a show in Singapore in '64?

Yes You're Lulu

I was then Not any more What's your name now?

Why should I tell you?

On Christmas Eve 1966 I ran into a friend from Singapore in a nightclub We'd been rather close But that night... she'd apparently forgotten me

Have we really met before?

How could you forget?

You said I looked like your late boyfriend You taught me the cha-cha

Go on...

You were always dragging me to the casino You'd hit a losing streak You owed a fortune My friends and I paid for your passage to Hong Kong

You talked a lot about your late boyfriend A Chinese Filipino from a rich family You planned to marry him But he died young You said he was the love of your life

I shouldn't bring back sad memories...

at this time of year But do you remember that Christmas night we went drinking?

We talked a lot Was she just pretending she'd forgotten me?

I took her back to her hotel. She was dead to the world

She'd had too much to drink so I left quickly


On my way out, I noticed a very familiar number

If I hadn't run into her that night, I wouldn't have seen that number and I wouldn't have written '2046'

Can I help you?

Is Miss Lulu in?

Lulu? There's no Miss Lulu here There was a Mimi... but she's moved out But I was here two days ago.

Do you know where she's gone?

No. What do you want with her?

Nothing, really I have her key I wanted to return it You can give it to me Thanks

You want to rent the room?

I'm just back from abroad I don't have my own place yet If the room's vacant, I could take a look This is just a small hotel But our residents are all decent people What's your line of work?

I write for newspapers Great. A fellow artist.

I haven't always done this I used to be an artist too Really?

I took singing lessons, in Harbin Back then, I was a tenor It'll be a pleasure to have you here When will you move in?

As soon as possible But 2046 has to be redecorated

2047 is vacant Take a look at it

Never mind I'll come back when it's ready Why that particular room?

Maybe it's the number It has some significance for you?

I'm joking Tell you what Take a quick look at 2047 If it's acceptable, you can move in Then switch to 2046 when it's ready How about it?

Can I see the room?

Of course. Please

Once I moved in...

I found out what had happened the night before Lulu was stabbed by a jealous boyfriend. A drummer from the club She'd really liked him... and compared him with a bird that could never land For all these years...

She has been looking for her 'legless bird'

Most of her affairs ended badly But she didn't mind sad endings No matter what happened at least she was always the leading lady


Good.

Of course.

Let's go.

I'll go with you.

Good, I'll go with you. Of course.

I understand.

You know what I mean? I know... I understand I have it.

Can I go?

I can go.

Of course.

I understand.

It didn't take long to finish redecorating 2046 But by then I was used to 2047 I started hearing a strange voice through the wall I thought someone had moved in But it was the daughter of the hotel owner, Mr Wang

Definitely.

I'm definitely going.

Fine, let's go.

I had no idea what she was saying

The lift-boy told me it was Japanese

It seems she had a Japanese boyfriend Tell the driver “220 Granville Road” Ga...ran...wai... 220 Granville Road Turn from Humphreys Avenue, hear to Kimberley Road Can you say again?

Don't turn down Salisbury Road Slowly, please...

I'll draw you a map That's my pen.

I'll repeat it once more Turn from Humphreys Avenue Near to Kimberley Road But don't turn down Salisbury Road Understand?

I'll draw you a map Granville Road Turn from Humphreys Avenue Don't turn down Salisbury Road Remember, don't turn down Salisbury Road

His company in Japan had sent him to Hong Kong When he got here, he booked into this hotel The world is full of men.

Why do you have to choose a Japanese?

Get rid of him. I will never meet him.

You want my blessing? Not while I'm alive.

It had been going on for ages So they had to break up


Can you tell me what you feel?

Do you like me?

Or not?

I'm afraid to hear your answer

But I have to ask anyway


Leave with me


Goodbye

The man finally went back to Japan That's when Miss Wang began talking to herself


Hey, ask your boss to turn it a bit.

Mr Chow, you'd better ask him yourself

Hasn't he left already? Why is he back?

I will not see him. If you won't give him up...

Get out. Go away with him.

I assumed that Mr Wang played it so loud because he loved his opera Actually he didn't want anyone to overhear the family row


What are you doing?

Come back for me when you're a little older.

I said, wait till you grow up.

I like it

Mr Wang thought about very little but his two daughters The elder one was mad about her Japanese man The younger one was precocious for her age She kept coming into my room for drinks Then she ran off with some man Another drummer from a club band, I heard After she left, her elder sister got into trouble too Have a word with your boss for me I'm a bit late with the rent Anyway, he has my deposit Mr Chow, tell him yourself He's in a foul mood these days What's eating him?

First, one daughter ran away Now the other one's in hospital That's why he's so angry Why is she in hospital?

He wouldn't say, he was quite strange...

Steer clear of him. So, that's it?

Anyhow, give him my invitation It's my father's birthday banquet He can deduct his gift from the rent I owe Later they imposed a curfew in Hong Kong Home-made bombs caused panic The economy stopped dead I stopped going out Some thought I was a reformed character Actually, I was writing A story called 2046 All about men and women looking for love risking everything to get to a place called 2046 What's that?

Let's go to I made it as bizarre and erotic as possible, without crossing the line The readers liked it Some didn't take to the science-fiction angle But all '2046' meant to me was the number of a hotel room

I made up the whole thing. But some of my own experiences found their way into it


People I ran into in the normal course of things turned up in my stories I felt more and more at ease in my fictional world

Around that time, Mr. Wang's music got louder again More trouble with his two daughters But also because of the bad state of the economy A lot of the rooms were empty Then in September, the rioting ended Life went back to normal

Soon, someone moved into 2046

Have you nearly finished?

It's too early in the day for that.

Some of us are trying to sleep.


Peeking?

The woman next door is quite a dish. What are my chances?

You're off your head.

A father-to-be shouldn't have that on his mind.

Now she's pregnant My wife won't let me touch her.

Come on

Put in a word for me Alright How much? How much have you got?

Only a hundred Wait for my call Mr Chow.

Mr Chow, a call for you Bright and early?

She's not up yet Why come over? I told you. It has to be arranged She's not some streetwalker. A fellow artist like you Show her a little respect, will you?

Yes, I'll tell you right away

Miss Bai, your key You're back, Miss Bai

Who is it?

Who are you looking for? Mr Chow suggested I come by...

You're back, Mr Chow Did you win on the dogs? I lost.

I won a little


Looking for me?

I think you know this person?

What are doing in that room? You said you'd arrange it.

I paid you. When did I say it was this room?

I said that room I said this one Your girl's in that room How embarrassing.

I told you, the room on the left. Please excuse him Shut up.

Who is it?

You again I just wanted to apologise for last night Forget it

Ping, my editor, was out of line But he's not really so bad Just a bit stingy Never pays his way. Always says he's broke when the check arrives So I thought I'd play a trick on him At my expense? Didn't you go a bit far?

He only fell for it because you're so beautiful

You're quite a flirt

A small token of apology...

Please accept it I don't want it You're still cross, aren't you?

Please accept it No.

Come on... No.

It's just a token...

Don't make fun of me, I mean what I say Now, get out

That's good, let it all out How can I make you feel better? Slap me again Think I wouldn't dare? Come closer

Don't be so petty That's enough I'm courteous enough not to slap you again That doesn't mean you can take advantage

This time I'll give you face If there's ever a next time, I'll be less polite It won't happen again My face is still numb Accept it No They're just a token of my regard I chose them myself See if you like them If you don't, just throw them away Good

I'll leave now

Calm down.

It's none of your business who I dated last night

Who?

Dabao

Which Dabao?

The fat one or the skinny one?

From Shanghai or from Shandong?

The trouble is, I know so many men named Dabao

How should I know which one you mean?

Yes, I did

Let me just say...

Get out. You think I can accept this?

Her or me. You'd better choose Now get out.


24 December 1967


You're back early. It's Christmas.

Shouldn't you be having dinner with your boyfriend?

What boyfriend?

Then let's have supper.

You have so many girlfriends. You need company?

Go out with them

They all want to be with me, but I can't choose The fairest thing is to see none of them Come on, no point in staying cooped up in your room I'm not in a good mood tonight I might get drunk... and slap you again

That's fine I'm used to it.

If slapping me would make you happy take that as my Christmas present.

Come on Come with me Let go


I didn't expect to spend Christmas like this What were you expecting?

We'd made plans He was taking me to Singapore

He says it's warm there at Christmas

So I didn't even pack winter clothes What I'm wearing now... is for summer.

Have you been to Singapore?

I worked there for several years

What kind of work?

On a newspaper

Is it fun there?

It's alright

Tell me more I won't be going So I'll just have to imagine it

What do you want to know?

How's the climate?

Pretty warm All year round Sometimes you can't tell what season it is

The food stalls are great.

Ping and I ate there after work We'd eat and drink till dawn

Our landlord was a funny man Short and fat, and he always wore a skirt What the Malays call a 'sarong'

But when you're away from home it sometimes gets boring

That was a dull meal.

Another drink somewhere else?

You really like to drink?

It makes things easy When I'm drunk, I have no worries.

Won't your girlfriends be missing you tonight?

They're not stuck to me. They see other men too We just have fun together They still need to make a living

I don't get it Where does all that 'fun' get you?

If you find the right person why waste time on the others?

If I find the right person.

A man like me has nothing much except free time That's why I need company So people are just time-fillers to you?

I wouldn't say that Other people can borrow my time too

And this evening?

Are you borrowing me or am I borrowing you?

No difference.

Maybe I borrowed you earlier and now you're borrowing me Ridiculous.

Don't get me wrong I don't intend to take advantage of you If that was what I wanted I had plenty of options I just want us to be drinking pals Is that all right?

It's hard But I'll give it a try

Alright Let's try.

Where to? Let's drink.


Mr Chow, you seem happy tonight.

I certainly am, my friends are buying me dinner This way, please

Ping. Is it someone's birthday? Better than that.

Chow has a new girlfriend.

Definitely worth celebrating.

Mr Chow, what would you like to eat tonight?

Something expensive.

Snake?

Yes, shake would be good Snake isn't cheap. Can you afford it?

Shut up. Don't mind him What will it be, Mr Chow? Snake And a lamb casserole too And bring Hoi's whiskey

Can't let this go to waste, it's delicious Where's your girl, Chow? It's already 2am Is she coming?

She can't be coming -1 don't think she's coming It's all your fault It's because of you that this happened Why blame me? You brought this on yourself You said she was gentle and obedient Now we know the truth I said she was sometimes obedient and sometimes gentle But she's full of surprises, that's part of the fun So, what next?

Yes, what now? Whatever you feel like doing

And then what happened?

Tell me

How are you going to thank me?

Pervert

Open up. Who is it?

Open the door

It's late You played a fine joke on me tonight I finished work late Too late to get there So I didn't come

What's this?

That's your fault too How could I know you'd stand me up?

I thought I'd win a few hundred Instead I lost my moustache This is all your fault You deserved it Who pushed you into the bet?

I'll tell you something Ping asked me not to show up Anyhow, I wasn't that fond of the moustache You look younger now Don't you like it?

You're making fun of me.

You tricked me

I'll get you for this How will you make it up to me?

At least give me a Kiss

You bit me. Come and get me.

You're in for it when I catch you

Don't touch me there

You fool are you going to peel my skin off?

You think you are being merciful?

I am bleeding I wonder if the weather matters Just a lamb casserole and I am like this

Do you think I've gone wild?

What? Don't move.

What are you doing? Shaving you Don't Who knows where that shaver's been?

It could bring me bad luck

Let's go for Round Two


Why are you dressed?

I'm going back to my room...

I'm exhausted This is all I have Aside from loose change for the bus Here's two hundred

Please take it -1 don't want it I wasn't selling That's not how I meant it I want to pay for your torn dress Please take it

I see...

You're afraid I'll cling to you, is that it?

I'll take ten Think of it as a discount rate

If you ever want to come over again I'll charge the same


I'm going back to my room


Come here


Not tonight Why not?

Not in the mood?

Can't take the strain tonight Anyhow, I'm a bit short of cash Never mind, you can owe me No I don't like being in debt


The reception's at 6, dinner at 8.

I don't mind if you can't make it, just send your gift No more than you do. You hold banquets all year round.

I've had four birthday invitations from you this year.

I'll send over some more invitation cards later Think of people with money... Write in their names and send them invitations.

That's settled Mr Chow, holding another banquet?

You know we have birthdays in different calendars?

Another of mine has come around No doubt Here's one for your boss Tell him that since we're so close... He can deduct his gift from the rent I owe Make sure he gets it

It's late, what's so urgent?

Just got back from Macau Chow asked me to bring you a present

You two went to Macau? Yes, we had some days off So we went to the casino

It's beautiful He says he found some money... in his pocket So before losing it all at the tables he bought you a present Where is he? Not back yet...

You know what he's like Extravagant at the start of the month and broke well before the end He made several thousand hosting that party. So now he's really enjoying himself.

Is he there alone? Of course not.

There's a gang of them He likes company Was he always like this?

Let's not talk about him, let's have a drink

But I should warn you... I know you like Chow a lot Don't waste your time on him He's not serious


Guess who?

There's only one possibility Let me have a bite first

What are you doing here?

What am I doing here? What do you think?


I thought I was pretty wild But you're much wilder Pay up I haven't seen you for ages I've been busy Liar Tell me the truth I am

Who was that woman the other day?

What woman?

Don't pretend

I saw her leaving your room Who is she?

A friend A friend?

What was she doing in your room?

Don't be nosy, alright?

Go back to your room I have work to do

I won't I'm sleeping here tonight An overnight stay is expensive No problem Name your price I'd pay anything to be with you. Every day

Retail is fine Wholesale is out of the question Why?

I just don't like it

Could you make an exception for me?

No

You treat all women like this?

Except one Who?

My mother I'm serious

I don't mind you having other women But I won't be treated the same as them

I don't care if you love me or not I'll love you anyway

Since we got together, I haven't brought other men back I hoped you'd think the same way

Will you promise me that?

No

I see...

Then we're through

I'll never bother you. And I don't ever want you in my room again

Here, ten Tonight, I'm paying

Thank you.

If you're ever in the mood, feel free to come over I'll charge you the same

Having fun?

What do you care?


You were rather loud last night I meant to be You bring back women, why shouldn't I have men?

I want to see if you really don't mind

I won't go, why don't you come here instead?

Forget it. Don't come.


After Bai Ling moved out... she started dating Dabao And I saw other women too If our paths ever crossed, we'd pretend not to see each other Rather pathetic, I know. But it was better for us to end it this way I've never seen her since But sometimes she pops up in my stories

Your change, please check it Thank you Are you going out later?

Why?

Could you post this letter for me?

Sure Then Miss Wang came back. I knew from the familiar sound coming through the wall

Please take me with you Good.

What are you doing?

Wasn't I clear?

Don't contact that Japanese man Why are you writing to him in secret?

Aren't you ashamed?

Return his letter


What are you reading?

A martial-arts novel You like them?

If your friend wants to send you more letters and you don't want your dad to know tell him to send them to my room I'll pass them on to you

She looked happier when she came back this time We talked more often Mr Chow, another letter for you

Another.

Those Japanese girls get so carried away.


Let's see each other again

Then, if you still think we shouldn't be together tell me so, frankly

That day, six years ago a rainbow appeared in my heart Like a flame burning inside me

But what are your real feelings for me?

Are they like a rainbow after the rain?

Or...

did that rainbow fade away long ago?

I'm waiting for your answer

Why do you write all that nonsense about sex?

So I won't starve.

Don't you worry about your reputation?

Perhaps I'm not such a nice chap Why not try writing something else?

Who'd read it?

How about a martial-arts novel? People love them That's too hard I tried once, co-writing it with someone We locked ourselves away for months Just got sore heads Those were good times

I like writing too It's hard to make a living by writing I just do it for fun I'll show you some of my stuff Please do

Here you are, read this first

My word, you're prolific.

When you've read it, tell me what you think Don't forget to give it back. I


Have you read my story yet? I have What did you think?

I think you should never write another word

Why not?

You're so good You could put me out of work

The Spider Sage thrusts out his right fist.

Two chopsticks take off like rockets.

They land with explosive force.

The mountain splits apart.

Slow down, I can't keep up Come on, they're waiting for it Alright Caught up?

Go on Where was 1? The mountain splits apart Right... The mountain splits apart ... smashing Iron Abacus to the ground.

Iron Abacus?

Isn't he dead?

Is he? Then make it Iron Head Where did Iron Head come from all of a sudden?

Hey, anything goes in martial-arts novels.

Why don't you get some rest? I'll finish it for you Alright

It felt like having an assistant When I was late with my copy, I asked her to ghost it for me She was just a girl but she could write as raunchily as the best of us We got along very well That was my happiest summer ever

But it didn't last...

I encouraged her to face up to her father But she didn't dare She wanted to pay her own way So I got her job in the cloakroom at a club Thank you

She told her father she was going out with me

Sometimes I found an excuse to pick her up after work You're here late If you're ready to go, I have a taxi waiting I can give you a lift back

No thanks

Then I won't wait


Feelings can creep up on you unawares

I knew that, but did she?

She was always asking if there was anything at all that never changed I could see what was on her mind I promised to write a story for her, based on my observation Something to show her what her boyfriend was thinking As a joke we thought of calling it '2047'

But maybe I was being too oblique I'd begun to feel that it wasn't about her boyfriend at all Rather it was more about me


So I began imagining myself as a Japanese man on a train for 2046 falling for an android with delayed reaction

If someone wants to leave 2046, how long will it take?

No one can say Some people get away fairly easily Others find that it takes them much longer It takes great strength And it can hurt terribly I forget how long I've been on this train I start to feel very lonely It's rather boring at first But you slowly get used to it We have a range of cabin attendants They can satisfy your every need They will serve you devotedly Like an intimate friend But you must never fall in love with them Who'd ever fall for an android?

Who can say?

Events can creep up on you without you even noticing It happens all the time


Paragraph 201 in the Passengers' Guide warns that Area 1224-1225 is especially cold The train heating won't be strong enough Passengers are advised to hug each other to keep warm Since I'm the only passenger I hug my android cabin attendant

I wonder if it's her mechanism or just my imagination But I sense some responsive warmth in her artificial body

Hurts

Why do you want to leave 2046?

Do you know what people did in the old days when they had secrets they didn't want to share?

They'd climb a mountain Find a tree Carve a hole in it Whisper the secret into the hole And cover it up with mud

That way

nobody else would ever learn the secret

I'll be your tree Tell me, and nobody else will ever know

I always...

Very funny. I always...

Whenever anyone asked why I left 2046...

I always I gave them some vague answer I always...

I once fell in love with someone I couldn't stop wondering whether she loved me or not

I found an android which looked just like her I thought the android might give me the answer


10 hours later


I have a secret to tell you

Leave with me

I have a secret to tell you

Leave with me

I kept on asking

But she never answered

I began dreaming up excuses for her silence

Do you know the Buddhist canon?

'The Five Decays of Celestial Beings'?

The Five Decays of Celestial Beings It's all about the gods and how they go through this process too Our cabin attendants are superbly designed But there's one problem When they've served on so many long journeys fatigue begins to set in They might want to laugh but the smile would be slow to come They might want to cry but the tear wouldn't well up till next day.

This one is failing fast

I think you'd better give up

I grew desperate I felt like giving up

But I was soon trying again

I have a secret to tell you Will you leave with me?

I have a secret to tell you

Will you leave with me?


Do you know what people did in the old days when they had secrets?

They'd climb a mountain, find a tree Carve a hole in it...


I slowly began to doubt myself

The reason she didn't answer was not simply that her reactions were delayed It's simply that she didn't love me

So at last I got it It's entirely beyond my control The only thing left for me was to give up


24 December 1968


Why are you inviting me to Christmas dinner?

You know how much I'll lose in tips by not working?

Wouldn't it be awful to be alone tonight?

I need company That means me?

Your boyfriend hasn't written in a while

I told him not to

Anyway, it's hopeless No point waiting for me

Why is it hopeless? Go and look for him.

If you don't, it really will be hopeless

My dad will never give his consent

If you were him... what would you be doing tonight?

Why don't you ask him? Have you got his phone number?

I can't hear you Can you speak louder?

I'm already shouting.

I felt like Father Christmas that night I took her to the newspaper office and let her make a long-distance call to her boyfriend I was happy to see her so happy In fact, zone 1224-1225... meant Christmas Eve and Christmas Day On the night before Christmas many people need a bit more warmth than usual I didn't get that

Maybe that was for the best


10 hours later I realised... the reason the android didn't answer... had nothing to do with her mechanism wearing out Nor that she didn't like him

More likely she already loved someone else. Soon after that, she went to Japan I gave her a copy of my story '2047'

I hope she read it

100 hours later

1000 hours later


Love is all a matter of timing

It's no good meeting the right person too soon or too late If I'd lived in another time or place

my story might have had a very different ending


I have to tell you...

I'll be away for a couple of days Please pay my daughter this month's rent She's back?

Not Jingwen? I mean pay my younger girl, Jiewen So your worries are over. Going on holiday?

No, I have to go to Japan But you hate Japanese. Why go to Japan?

Jingwen is getting married

Congratulations I wasn't sure whether to go or not Now I've decided... I just want her to be happy When do you leave? Can you help me choose a present?

No need for that

She wanted me to ask you something What is it?

She read your story '2047'. She likes it a lot But she finds the ending too sad She wonders if you can change it?

I'll see what I can do

An hour later

10 hours later

100 hours later


I also like the story to have a happy ending But I don't know how to write it Some years back I had a happy ending in my grasp But I let it slip away

Don't turn your back on me. Has he been here?

What's it to you?

While I was depressed, I ran into Lulu again She hadn't changed, still intensively jealous You think he's yours? I thought you knew him well.


Watching her taught me something When you don't take 'ho' for an answer there is still a chance you'll get what you want

18 months later

Hello, is Mr Chow there?

I know I have no right to ask but they say I need a guarantor

The man who recruits girls for the nightclub says he knows you Can you talk to him for me?

No problem I know the man you mean

I'll see him in a day or two Why did you choose Singapore?

I don't want to stay here any longer I've been thinking about it for some time. I want to take a look at the place

Don't drink too much You don't look well

Don't worry, it won't kill me

You know what?

I came by here at Christmas

I thought I might run into you Why didn't you call me first?

I don't know

I came on impulse

I don't know why

That night I suddenly missed you so much

We're drinking pals Of course you'll miss me

You're right

'We're drinking pals'

Let's go

The bill

Where are you staying?

In a hotel, a rather small room

But it's not too bad I'll see you back No, thanks I've just moved in, it's a mess

I'll invite you once it's cleaned up

I'll go first

Seeing how much Bai Ling had changed I was suddenly overcome by a feeling of grief Indeed, last Christmas I was not in Hong Kong

24 December, 1969


Have you seen Miss Su?

Miss Su... not for some time Any idea where she might be? Probably back in Phnom Penh I didn't want to spend Christmas 1969 in Hong Kong So I visited Singapore and went back to the casino I waited for several days, but Black Spider never turned up No one knew where she was Some thought she'd gone back to Phnom Penh. Others thought she was dead

Ping and I began working in Singapore in 1963 When my life lost most of its meaning

I started gambling every day

Those were hard times for me And only one person came to my rescue A professional gambler Some said she was a cheat She always wore black They called her Black Spider She kept her black glove on for 365 days of the year Nobody knew why for sure Had her hand been chopped off for cheating?

Did the glove cover up a fake hand?

Nobody really knew


Why do you wear that black glove?

It's a habit

You're not from here?

I am from Phnom Penh

What a coincidence. I was just in Cambodia

The place is in chaos, what were you doing there?

The newspaper sent me

You're a journalist?

Not any more

Why's that?

They made some changes, and I'm now a 'consultant'

On half-pay, with next to nothing to do

So why are you spending your time in the casino?

I tried to win enough to pay my way back to Hong Kong

You lost a lot?

A few thousand

You should never set foot in a casino in a bad mood You won't win

I didn't expect to win I just hoped to get back my stake

If you have any left...

I can help you On one condition When you've got your money back stop gambling

Why are you helping me?

I take a commission

10% of whatever I win for you

Think it over

What good to her were her tiny commissions on my winnings?

After that, we went back to the casino night after night We'd eat at the stall next to the railway station She won back all the money I'd lost

Thank you

Don't thank me, it's yours

If you need me again tomorrow I'll be waiting here after dinner

I still don't know your name

It's Su Su Lizhen

A few years ago I fell in love with another man's wife Her name was also Su Lizhen

It was because of her that I moved to Singapore I never dreamed I'd meet another Su Lizhen

I told her a lot about the other Su Lizhen At first, we kept it secret But gossip soon spread Later we moved into a hotel We had Room 2046

When I think back, the whole thing was like a dream

You loved her deeply?

It's history

Let's change the subject You, what did you do before?

You want to know about me?

Come on, we'll play high-low If you win, I'll tell you everything

It struck me that her past was like the hand she always kept gloved A mystery with no solution

Of all the men I've met... you've been the best to me

I'm already missing you

Why won't you come with me?

Didn't you promise not to ask?

Hold me

It may be years before we meet again


The night we last saw each other for the last time I told her Take care

Maybe one day you'll escape your past

If you do, look for me


Now it strikes me that what I told her was actually meant for myself

In love, you can't bring on a substitute I was looking for what I'd felt with the other Su Lizhen

I didn't realise that myself But I'm sure she did

When the peony blooms... she stands tall and then goes away Does she mean 'No' or 'Yes'?

All for me? You want to get me drunk?

I know you're a good drinker Let's drink.

As much as we can.

If there's any left over... finish it next time you're here

One small thing I have to ask you Here's some money, please take it What for?

I know you borrowed from a friend for my plane ticket Pay him back If there's any left, pay my rent for me Where did you get so much money?

An old customer He's always been fond of me He treats me well But he's too old for me, so I never paid him much attention

I ran into him yesterday while I was shopping He insisted on buying me dinner

I needed money So I went

After dinner, I told him I needed money

He said I could have as much as I wanted

I told him I needed HK$5,000

At first, I planned to save it for Singapore

But I'm using it now

Don't be foolish You're still young.

You have great prospects I borrowed the money from my friends They don't need it back yet So keep this for yourself

Pay me back later, there's no rush

Why are you so kind to me?

Perhaps it's fate

Too bad it didn't last

I wish it could have gone on longer

Don't be like this Let me buy you dinner tonight Waiter, the bill.

No, let me

You're too kind You've spent enough time and money on me already I don't want to owe you too much

I need to make a phone call Please settle the bill, I'll be outside


Will you come in?

No, thanks Get some rest I'll see you to the airport tomorrow Please don't I'll be terribly sad if you're there

Take good care of yourself

Why can't it be like it was before?

Please don't go

Stay with me tonight

Let me borrow you Do you remember?

You once asked me... if there was anything I wouldn't lend

I've given it a lot of thought

And now I know...

there is one thing...

I'll never lend to anyone


As I recall that was the very last time we saw each other

I haven't seen her since that night

Why can't it be like it was before?

He didn't turn back It was as if he'd boarded a very long train Heading for a drowsy future... through the unfathomable night

Everyone who goes to 2046 has the same intention They want to recapture lost memories Because in 2046... nothing ever changes But nobody really knows if that's true or not Because nobody has ever come back