Thursday, March 3, 2011
before sunrise & before sunset
directed by richard linklater, starring ethan hawke & julie delpy
before sunrise and before sunset are true works of beauty. very rarely are there romance films like these that aren't totally predictable and cliche. what makes both so charming is the fact that there really isn't a plot, it thrives solely on rich dialogue (as you can tell i'm all about the dialogue) and how the relationship unfolds between the characters. it makes it more realistic and relatable to viewers, not to mention more memorable.
this first film is set in vienna in the year 1994. jesse is a romantic, yet cynical american who decides to take a trip to europe. celine is an intelligent french girl who is a little hesitant when it comes to love and romance. they meet on a train heading to vienna (where jesse is going) and paris (where celine was planning to go). they begin to talk, one thing leads to another, and they both realize a connection is going on between the two. on a romantic whim, jesse asks her to accompany him on his site-seeing venture through the beautiful streets of vienna. they spend the whole day together and while they are walking around they share with each other their opinions on religion, exes, love, death, relationships, and marriage. as the day goes on they realize the more and more they spend time together the more they fall for each other. the next morning jesse is supposed to take a plane back home so they both decide to make the most of, whatever it is they had, and just end it instead of trying long-distance because it would be too complicated. the very last minute they spend together they both confess that they don't want it to end so in a mad panic they both agree to meet at the very spot they were standing in exactly 6 months. the story ends there.
flash forward 9 years set in paris, france. jesse is promoting his new book about his romantic, one night affair with celine. she sees an article about him in the newspaper a while back and decides to read his book which brings back many memories and emotions for her. she decides to surprise him at his reading since she still lives in paris. they catch up, first discussion being whether they went to that train station 6 months after their affair. turns out celine didn't because her grandmother's funeral was that exact day, but jesse did go and was heart-broken when she didn't show. they continue to talk about life experiences they have had since they last were together, how they've grown, what they are doing now with their lives, and finally discuss their feelings on how happy they are to be in each other's company again after so long. time is not on their side once again and jesse has another plane to catch for another reading to promote his book. i'm not going to ruin the end for you you'll just have to see for yourself what happens!