Before Midnight Reviews
Linklater kept the same love of conversational dialogues, long takes that value the joy of performance and interaction along with the gorgeous European locations (This time it's Greece).
Great emotional movie.
This film had a very similar tone to the others. All three movies are composed of very few long shots. I think this one could be boiled down to less than half a dozen scenes in total, where every one tells a completely different story and shows a different side of these lovable characters.
The scene where they were driving just shows a couple that's been together for a little while having fun, driving around, reminiscing, and just enjoying the moment. The scene where Jesse discusses his idea for the next book gives a look into what kind of person he is and what he does for a living. It only took two decades, but we see how an individual's career is ever changing and doesn't have predetermine achievable milestones. The lunch table scene was probably my favorite. It was a conversation that touched on physical attraction, emotional connection, young love, loved that transcends death, the rise of AI in computing technology, literature and so much more. Set in a beautiful atmosphere where I would love to spend a summer, it was a group of individuals I would have loved to dine with. The scene where they walked through the city gave me hope. It showed that relationships aren't so bad if you put a bit of effort into them. However, the last scene ruined it all. It was tough to watch and hit really close to home, where a lot of the debates are ones I've seen myself growing up.
I love that the tone and the characters remain the same but the themes change. It shows that we, as people, never really change, but it is only what we're concerned with around us that's mutable. Our view and perspective of the world may develop and become more well grounded, but for the most part it is still the same. Jesse was a horny teenager in 1994, 2003 and 2012. At first he had no worries and no plans, then he had a bad marriage with a kid and a best seller, and eventually he moved on to two marriages, established as an author, but still a horny teenager. Celine was always a crazy political feminist/activist, and nothing changed. The only difference is that she simply had more responsibilities and shit to deal with after the twins were born.
If not for the very last scene, I'd have a very difficult time letting go of the movie, but it's relieving to see that they found a way to reconnect and reignite the flame of passion from almost two decades ago. Can't wait for the next one :)
The Greek setting seems to mirror this relationship rather well. It's an undeniably beautiful sight to behold, even despite its age. Perhaps it was more beautiful in the past, but like all things, age has taken its toll, and it's not quite the same as it once was. Maybe this is just all coincidence, but don't put it past someone as intelligent and philosophical as Richard Linklater.