Before Sunset (2004)
Running Time: 80 minutes
Directed by: Richard Linklater
Starring: Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy
10 years after the last installment, Jesse Wallace (Hawke) is in a Paris bookstore to promote his best-selling novel, This Time. Jesse’s novel talks about his chance encounter with a Parisian in 1994 and their day in Vienna. It is at the bookstore, that Jesse spots Celine who found out about his visit in Paris from the publicity for his book tour. Much like the previous film, Jesse and Celine decide to spend time together until he has to catch his flight back to New York in the evening.
Much like the last film, the movie started with the lead characters meeting, and their subsequent chat that seems like there’s no end or beginning to it. It was nice to see that the chemistry after all the years is still pretty much intact and growing strong between the actors and characters. It was not difficult to slip back into their world, and their conversation about the world, life, and love. This time around, Jesse was portrayed to be less cynical, but still has a realistic view on life, while Celine is seen to be less hopeful and optimistic about her situation and life. The duality of the personalities of the characters just shines from the writing and the way the characters interact with one another.
This time with Paris as the backdrop, it’s simply amazing to watch. I’m glad that Linklater picked the less tourist-y places to film. It’s just refreshing to see some back alleys or small alleyways of Paris, and they’ve incorporated the same smooth steady-cam shots following the characters as they walk around the city. It simply reminds the fans of the movie, why the first one worked so well, and that secretly we’ve all missed Jesse and Celine during those years, and we grew older as did the characters, which are shown quite clearly through the conversations that they have. Overall, another beautifully shot and written film, not to be missed for those who loved the first installment.
Rating: 8 out of 10