Before Sunset (2004) – Richard Linklater

I return to the brilliant The Movie Book from DK Canada, as I continue to work my way through the What Else to Watch list following my screening of Boyhood. I got a bottle of wine, and settled in for the follow up to Before Sunrise… Before Sunset.

Nine years after the release of Before Sunrise, the cast of Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy are reunited as their characters Jesse and Celine meet up again while Jesse is in Paris on the last leg of his book tour, This Time (which is based on the previous film).

We learn what happened after the last film and their promise to meet one another six months later back in Vienna.

As you watch the two characters you can see how easily they slip back into the potential of their relationship again as they wander Paris before Jesse must leave for his plane at 7:30.

There is a lot of walking and talking as the two chat, reconnect, see how they have changed and how they still care for one another. Watching them together, you can see that as happy as they are, in their lives, the good, the bad, the things they have done, they always seem to be on the edge of recognising how amazing they would be together all the time. They make one another the best that they can be.

Before Sunset

The moments they share in this film aren’t as passionately romantic as the first film, their is a more mature feeling to the sense of love and connection in this film, as the two discover who they are now; checking in with one another, comparing their notes about life, and evaluating where they have been, where they are, and possibly where they are going.

I love how the characters examine one another, the one night they spent, how it affected them, and how they both recall it.

It’s a unique love story, because through the course of the entire film, not once do Jesse and Celine kiss, but for flashbacks to the first film.  And while the first film ends with a hopeful trepidation which speaks to how much of a romantic you are, this one ends with a joy that draw smile on your face, knowing that both characters are exactly where they need to be.

I actually enjoyed this entry in the series more than the first. Yes, there’s a youthful concept of love and romance at the heart of the first film, these characters have only one night, and want to hold on to it, but the second film, is a more mature examination of their lives, and their still developing affection and love for each other.

There’s a true sense of happiness at the close of this film, while the first left you clinging to hope, but also wondering…

It’ll be interesting to see where the third film goes, and that one will be coming up when I next visit DK Books’ The Movie Book – pick one up and find something amazing to watch tonight!





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