Sunday, January 16, 2011

Before Sunset (Richard Linklater)

Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy reprise their roles in Richard Linklater's more contemplative follow-up to "Before Sunrise".

Film Review Archive (date seen: December 7, 2010)

Now here's a sequel made not because it has a new or unique story (I believe within the ratio of chances that the love story in the two films can really happen) to tell, but because of the natural ease of conversational exchanges and spontaneous sarcasms between Jesse and Celine, two characters that many people have loved so much that it has inspired its makers (including stars Hawke and Delpy) to urgently tell what happened and what could have been in a happenstance meeting 9 years later in Paris.

By the summary of the film, it's already given that their promise to meet on a train station in Vienna was particularly broken by either one of them. So as if fate has brought them to the city of love itself, "Before Sunset" is the center stage for their reunion, to measure up how they've changed, physically, emotionally, and even politically, while at the same short amount of time, contemplate all the 'what if' scenarios that could have been brought into their lives if the promise they've kept to see each other again was fulfilled. Justify Full
If "Before Sunrise" is a definitive love story film for young lovers, "Before Sunset" is a matured observation of love, marriage, and no, not mid-life crisis (as what could have been expected in a sequel conceived 9 years after the first part), but about the contemplative spirit of a fateful night in the streets of Vienna that has might as well half-filled all the passions and perfect dreams Jesse and Celine ever had, and how another moment, even in a tranquil afternoon in Paris, is sorely necessary not just to pick up the pieces, but to piece out the fragments that surely could have been a lasting love. It may not be enough to fill up the other half, but it is, after all those years of neutral existence, a reassurance that they still can.


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