Sunday, April 28, 2013

Before Sunrise (1995)

Director: Richard Linklater 

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

"Can the greatest romance of your life last only one night?"
"… When love can come as a complete surprise"

* * *
Before Sunrise is one of the best movies I’ve watched with one of the best endings so far.  

Of course I couldn’t help but laugh when Jesse invited Celine to disembark the train and spend the day with him in Vienna.. she obliged… and they didnt even know each other’s names yet…. I laughed because my mind automatically fast-forwarded to modern movie plots, where cute guy picks up a girl and brings her to this unknown place and then tortures and butchers her slowly…. lots of blood, lots of maniacal laugh, lots of screaming…… and then I stop and forced myself to just be normal and enjoy the damn movie.

I didn’t particularly like Jesse. He annoyed me a bit at times, though i’m not sure if it’s because of my dark mood when i watched it or he’s just that freakin irritating. I mean, he’s like a young Johnny Depp emanating some sort of hidden “Rob Lowe/Charlie Sheen characters” douchery, fully equipped with a non-stop blabbering Dawson motor-mouth, with a ridiculous squeaky leather jacket. Yes, he’s cute and all that.But if i was Celine i would also say “let’s meet after 5 years — (when you’ve matured and amounted to something other than youthful cynicism and boyish eagerness and adolescent kissing techniques). Leather jacket, devil-may-care living, unsure of what to do with his life except philosophize on everything under the sun, realism with a liberal dose of cynicism and a pinch of romanticism….. Sounds like me without the jacket…  Maybe that’s why I didn’t like him that much -_-

My favorite parts/scenes: 

  • the milkshake poem scene… when the street artist read that poem.. wow. that’s powerful…. And Jesse had to voice out his cynicism yet again, which come to think of it, is actually the sensible thing to think.   

  • the “telephone conversation”… their emotions just felt so real.. raw and cute. 

  • the shot of that park with the empty wine bottle and glasses. (there’s something about it…. the previous shots were just empty places where they have been, now without any reminder that they were once there…then that park scene — the bottle and glass the only reminder that they were there and spent what probably was the most memorable moment in their lives together. 

  • the ending. 


    those bittersweet smiles which trumps the uncertainty of whether they will see each other again, or what they felt for each other will fizzle out which they tried to avoid… bec at that moment, it’s that one day/night they are thinking about and they can smile about it NOW.)  The way the story was ended in an ambiguous way — will they see each other again or will they forget eventually? — it’s life filled with uncertainties… it’s perfect the way it ended.

Some may say this movie is boring or riddled with pseudo-intellectualization, but to me, the lack of plot or direction is as real as life.. the nonstop conversations, the decision to not see each other, the desire to see each other battling with their “adult logic” to be realistic and practical, them choosing to go back to their lives —- it’s the closest to reality any movie could get. It’s finding a stranger you connect to in a deeper level that you just want to talk to them about everything, but you know it might not work eventually so instead of spoiling a great moment, they want to preserve it in that memory of their one day together. 

My Rating:  4/5 

Check out my Before Midnight (2013) & Before Sunset (2004) review. Thanks!

If you were Jesse or Celine, would you have done the same thing (ending) ?

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  2. I loved the story very much, believable,charming.sweet,raw attraction at best.... It flowed beautifully, but Ethan was not the man for this character.... Julie was brilliant in this film, just beautifully poured into this role which suited her .... I feel she made the film what it was, her acting was beyond magnificent!!! I really saw that she loved him, and yes I believe there is love at first sight..... however, she also saw that he was a bit adolescent in behavior being more cute to her than practical... so when they agreed to meet later, Im sure she was hoping that he wld mature...... Would I hve met later ? Yes.... If someone meant that much to me, I could not let them go without a chance to be happy... :)

    1. Why do you think Ethan wasn't the right actor for this?

      the beauty of Before Sunrise and Before Sunset is that you see them mature.... in the first one Jesse was this typical young adult guy, so sure of himself, cynical and devil may care.. while Celine, an optimist and a romantic...

      in the second one (which is my favorite btw), you see their characters more subdued, a bit jaded yes, but definitely matured.... gone is the old Jesse that irritated me so much... and Celine, she's just a beauty to watch, with her subtleties and all that.

    2. First, I didnt like Ethan in the role, I didnt feel he was suited for the part, and I have not seen the 2nd one yet :) Will watch later today :)

    3. I think he did great :) Yes i didn't like Jesse, he was so irritating... but that's his character. Ethan delivered it spot on. The bravado, being too 'fresh' with celine, everything. he owned the character.. :) You'll see on the second one how they have matured. it's so nice to watch

    4. Im looking forward to watching the 2nd :) I really feel they should hve gotten a diff actor to play that role :) lol But thats the beauty in watching movies, to share each others opinions.... lol :)

    5. will wait for your reaction about ethan and the movie =D

  3. The Film was definitely worth seeing..... I feel Julie made this movie what it was :)

    1. yes i agree :) Before Sunset is better :)

    2. I will be happy to share my thoughts wth you after watching :)

    3. Looking forward to that, as I enjoy sharing opinions with you here :)



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