photo courtesy of impawards.com
there’s something about the film ‘before sunset,’ the sequel to ‘before sunrise,’ that i really like [be careful for spoilers in the movie links!]. as a self-labeled cynic to a certain degree, i try to be a realist when it comes to most things. especially matters of the heart. i’m not a fan of predictable/cheesy romantic comedies except for the rare ones like ‘nick & nora’s infinite playlist’ [does this constitute as a romantic comedy…?].
anyway, i remember hearing about ‘before sunset’ from my sister years ago, probably when i was in high school if not younger. but never really got around to seeing the film. probably because it didn’t seem all that interesting to me at that point my life. two people walking around and talking for the entire film? no thanks.
but for some reason, 6 months ago i decided to give the film another shot. and, as i’ve already told you by now, loved it. it’s such a simple film: in ‘before sunrise,’ jesse and celine met in vienna and spent one night together conversing about anything and everything, felt an immediate connection to one another, and eventually sleep together. by the time morning comes, jesse has to take a train out of vienna and they agree to meet back in vienna in six months and do not exchange numbers, addresses, or even last names.
nine years later, in ‘before sunset,’ jesse is in paris promoting his latest book and sees celine in the book store watching him. for a few hours, they walk around paris talking about work, what they’re up to now, and eventually what happened 9 years ago and where they’re at now.
it’s filmed in real time so, you watch this pairing for ~80 minutes just…talking. it doesn’t seem all that exciting but the dialogue is so real and well-written and the acting is great that you kind of just get sucked into watching this couple talk about their lives and interact with one another.
i guess now that i’m older and [hopefully] somewhat wiser than i was years ago, i can relate to this film so much more. the scene these two have in the car on the way to celine’s apartment is probably one of my favorites. the raw intensity and vulnerability both of them display either allows you to empathize with what the feelings they’ve been trying to negotiate these last 9 years and/or at least see where they’re coming from.
the question of whether or not what they had 9 years ago was merely a one night connection that they’re desperately clinging to, or something almost akin to something like soulmates is very much real. and something we’ve probably experienced to one degree or another in our lives.
i mean, isn’t this a concept we all think about sometimes? what if that person you met a week ago was that one person you were suppposed to spend the rest of your life with? does that person even exist? what i love about these two characters is that they’re very much insecure, flawed, complex human beings. and the film doesn’t try to skirt around this or sugarcoat it.
some of my favorite quotes from the film:
“Maybe what I’m saying is, is the world might be evolving the way a person evolves. Right? Like, I mean, me for example. Am I getting worse? Am I improving? I don’t know. When I was younger, I was healthier, but I was, uh, whacked with insecurity, you know? Now I’m older and my problems are deeper, but I’m more equipped to handle them.”
“I guess when you’re young, you just believe there’ll be many people with whom you’ll connect with. Later in life, you realize it only happens a few times.”
okay, i think i have sufficiently hyped this film up to the max. so go see it!