Sunday, April 28, 2013

Before Sunset (2004)

Directed by: Richard Linklater  (also known for directing Dazed and Confused, Before Sunrise, School of Rock)

Starring: Ethan Hawke (Jesse), Julie Delpy (Celine)


"What if you had a second chance with the one that got away?"

Plot: It’s nine years after Jesse and Celine first met; now, they encounter one another on the French leg of Jesse’s book tour. - IMDb

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Before Sunrise is a beautiful film with a perfect ending. But, Jesse looked like a creep. Cute and charming yes, but he gave off that creep vibe who just wanted a “French lay” (though of course that's not the case at all). Also, I got bored just a little bit, and I can’t help but roll my eyes at their conversations — Them talking , Me laughing and thinking I was exactly like that when i was younger, god! It’s just idk, either too cynical, or too idealistic/romantic…. just two young people talking about what they think is life and love and other things.


Pretty much the same formula as Before Sunrise. Plus we get to know what happened after their encounter.


In Before Sunset, we see these two characters meet once again, nine years later. With wrinkles, dirtier mouth, and a much more cynical/realistic outlook in life. Maturity suits them. And i find myself not irritated by Jesse anymore. He’s more subdued, and thank god he lost the leather jacket :)
They’re more mature, and their actions/expressions/conversations are more realistic and natural. They are just fun to watch. I actually felt like I was in that scene stalking them and listening to them with rapt attention and loving every second of it. You see the growth of their characters, and while life and time has aged them you can still see the familiar charm in their eyes. They have real problems, real relationships; they’re jaded; they’re cynical…. and yet when they saw each other, something inside them reignited. You feel the intense longing, the real emotions they thought they already forgot about, that one great love they have preserved in that one night nine years ago.
An example of how perfect this film is is that scene where Jesse wanted to hear Celine sing and they were walking up the stairs and they just look/glance at each other and at that moment we feel the tension, the anticipation of what may or may not happen, the longing, the battle inside them whether they should act on their feelings and just forget about their real lives. That several seconds without a dialogue reverberated inside me. It’s real. It’s those little moments in real life that you actually remember. 
The whole film is nicely executed. It’s simple yet you can feel real emotions behind every expressions, every subtle glances, body language, words, everything. You are drawn to them, to what they’re feeling, to what they’re trying to say. The non-verbals here are what made this movie perfect. The first movie, it’s talk talk talk with a bit of action. In this film, everything is toned down, so their expressions and movements are magnified.

FAVORITE SCENES: I love everything but there are two scenes which struck me the most.
1. When Jesse tells Celine how unhappy he is and he keeps on having dreams about her… just dreams, never to become a reality…. and Celine reached out to almost touch Jesse’s hair, but withdrew her hand… it’s just so poignant, that simple gesture.. filled with longing and regrets and the pain of lost time and missed opportunity for something that could have been great.

2. And of course the last scene….. Celine sings the song and you see Jesse’s expressions…… it’s just perfect. my god. 


I prefer this movie than the first one.. Of course this won’t be the same without Before Sunrise. You have to watch that first to appreciate this one. I would say  that BEFORE SUNSET is a perfected formula of BEFORE SUNRISE.

MY RATINGS:  5/5 - perfect.

Check out my Before Midnight (2013) & Before Sunrise review. Thanks!

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