My rating: 8
IMDB rating: 8.1
IMDB link: Before Sunset
After watching Before Sunrise yesterday, I was really excited to jump into this second movie as you are really rooting for Jesse and Celine. Nine years older (and wiser?) they once again meet up and this time they don’t have the luxury of a day together, only an hour or so. They pick off right where they left off talking about their lives and how they changed.
Being a cynic myself, but still a little bit of a romantic, I suspected that the planned meeting after six months would not work out, but was still rooting for the couple. The narrative is written quite interestingly because you find out about this missed meeting along with the characters, suspecting each of them in turn. Because of the book that Jesse had written, I first suspected him of being the one who stood up the meeting, but as you realise that it was actually fate that prevented Celine from showing up you too come to the conclusion that this magical couple also have to face a few realities.
Another of these realities they have to face is the fact that although they want to seem happy and successful in each other’s eyes, it is both a façade they put on (like we all do?). They realise that the one chance encounter they had nine years ago, made such a dramatic impact on their lives that they cannot be happy in other relationships because of the joy they had known in each other.
You also realise that the more these two characters changed, the more they stayed the same. Celine is still an activist, although her cause have moved from the feminine to the environmental. Jesse is still a true romantic at heart, but he also shows a few other characteristics like the fact that he absolutely loves his son.
The fact that Celine is an European and Jesse is an American is more prominent in this film than in the previous film. Celine, as an European, is sketched as more in touch with herself and nature, while Jesse seems driven by the urban and the commercial. Celine is also very much a citizen of the world, living in India and the US (where fate once again denied the couple happiness). In the previous film they were both tourists, while in this film it is only Jesse who is a tourist, can the same be said of their relationship? Are there still a few things he has to learn before he can also become a resident in the country of love?
As a sequel to the first film, this film is a wonderful build on the couple one falls in love with in the first movie. I cannot wait to see Before Midnight next, as another glimpse of this global romance.
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