Before Sunset Reviews
Easily the best installment of the Before Series; considering the runtime and the conflicts between the characters, Before Sunset swifts smoothly with the help of the actors charm and Richard's smart adaptation with some interesting inputs from weird topics.
One of the best moments in the entire movie is captured in the accompanying screenshot: the small moment of impossible tenderness between these two characters-in-crisis could easily be missed, but is so perfectly human that it's an indelible moment in my memory. How could Linklater have written the blocking between these characters that well?
This movie, as much as Before Sunrise, is a move about and containing just two people; everyone else is background noise. That's challenging for one film, and is in no way reduced for a second. Nonetheless, Before Sunset seems to raise the bar, and the ending is one of the best cliffhangers I've had the pleasure to watch recently. One can only imagine what it felt like for audiences who knew they had another 10 years to wait in order to find out what happened next.
This is a movie which requires your complete and utter attention. You can't miss a beat or go grab another bag of popcorn. Every single second and every word is pregnant with meaning and emotion.
The Before trilogy, and most specifically Before Sunset, demands hanging on every word, inference, vocal implication, and subtext. It's a movie series defined by subtlety and reading between the lines on the script.
This movie contains some of the most poignant and emotional dialogue and on-screen presence ever put to film.
It's also a movie that one will either love or hate. There is no middle ground permitted with this film. If you chose not to pay extremely close attention to the chemistry and interweaving threads of conversation, this film could be tremendously boring for you (I mean it is just two people strolling through Paris talking). It's not a film you can just have in the background while cooking. It's something you need to actively pay attention to - which to me is so easy to do given the actors.
But the magic and beauty of the film is the realism and vividness and potency of two people connecting. It's a glimpse into "true love" (over-glorified but at the same time laid bare and raw against the backdrop of life) and the give-and-take among two people in as emotionally provocative a way possible.
5 Stars. Watch and then rewatch it for new meaning.
(Full review TBD)
In Jesse I see a man that has a romantic notion of his reunion with Celine, but is quietly hurt. He's afraid that their night together meant more to him than it did to her. Celine is afraid of what will happen if she gives herself over to him again.
In Before Sunrise, Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy) had a heightened view of love, life, and the future. Like I said before, it was very optimistic, most notably in its ending. Instead of travelling down the same road that Sunrise took, Before Sunset shows our two leads both having different ideals, problems, and outlooks on life than before. And rightfully so, their mindsets should have changed in the nine years of not seeing each other. While both flustered and excited by how they get to meet again, both Jesse and Celine are bitter and show the struggle they've had after that one great night in 1994. Jesse, though sounds successful when written down in a short biography, is a shell of the man who idealized love, which also goes for Celine, who achieved her dream, but faltered on romance.
You sit and watch in awe as these two walk and talk and sit and talk, and you begin to ask "why can't these two just be together"? And Before Sunset doesn't hold any of its punches back, it clearly explains the problems with you thinking that, all the while giving such a subtle romantic connection between the two leads. You an feel the chemistry, the sparks flying, but no grandeur romantic acts come in sight for either. It's perfect, realistic, and a more mature movie than Before Sunrise.
I did not expect to love Before Sunset as much as I did, especially after only liking Before Sunrise (which I gave a 4 out of 5). The chemistry between Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy is incredible, downplaying the romance and love for one another, but still showing their affection for one another. It's not as long as Before Sunrise, but still manages to hit all the points it needed to hit, along with an ending that perfectly wraps it all up by leaving you both satisfied and craving for more.
Linklater and his talented actors allow you to indulge in their conversations like friend sitting with them at the same table or strolling along the streets of Paris,.
A movie with zero visual effects but can capture all of your senses just with the cast brilliant performance.