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Sunday, July 03, 2022

Hollywood Rewind | Before Sunset: A tribute to love and its many phases

While Before Sunrise dealt with the beginnings of an innocent romance, the second part, Before Sunset, shows us that as we grow as human begins, so does our cynicism.

Written by Anvita Singh | New Delhi |
September 21, 2019 7:48:16 am
before sunset Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy starrer Before Sunset is a sequel to Richard Linklater’s Before Sunrise.

Before Sunset movie cast: Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy
Before Sunset movie director: Richard Linklater
Before Sunset movie rating: 4.5 stars

“You can never replace anyone because everyone is made up of such beautiful specific details.” Julie Delpy’s Celine says at one point in the 2004 Richard Linklater directorial Before Sunset. And isn’t that right? You immediately wonder. This generalisation and assumptions that we keep making about people around us often makes us forget that we are all in our own simple ways different from each other.

Before Sunset is a sequel to the 1995 Before Sunrise which also featured Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy in the lead. The film’s plotline takes off from where things were left nine years ago. Nine years have passed, both Celine (Delpy) and Jesse (Hawke) have moved on in life. While Celine has become a passionate activist, Jesse has gone on to author a book based on the night he spent in Vienna with Celine nine years ago, their only night together before they parted ways without exchanging any contact details. And years later, they run into each other again in Paris. The rest of the film focuses on their interactions.

Again, Just like Before Sunrise, there is no visible arc as such within the movie. However, as mentioned before, it has been nine years and our leads have grown apart and more distant and dispassionate in some aspects. They try and unravel the past and discover each other once again, but they have only till sunset to do so as Jesse has to leave town in the evening. But does he end up taking the flight? That’s a question that is best left unanswered here.

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While Before Sunrise dealt with the beginnings of an innocent romance, the second part shows us that as we grow as human begins, so does our cynicism. And that may not always be the best thing in the world — as Jesse puts in the movie, protecting yourself from pain limits us from experiencing new things and developing in noble ways.

Hollywood Rewind: School of Rock | About a Boy | A Few Good Men | 50/50 | Begin Again | Brooklyn | Drive | Chocolat | Batman Begins | 10 Things I Hate About You | The Departed | Freedom Writers | Pretty Woman | Dan in Real Life | Jurassic Park | TangledMeet Joe Black | Monster’s Ball | Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind | You’ve Got Mail | Half Nelson | Fight Club | Doubt | American Psycho | Julie and Julia | Forrest Gump | The Silence of the Lambs | Finding Neverland | Roman Holiday| American History X | Tropic Thunder | Before Sunrise | Scent of a Woman | Finding Forrester | Sixteen Candles

The writing here talks about a lot of things — love, expectation, ideals — but it does so in a manner that doesn’t seem like those concepts are too complex for a mainstream movie to deal with. After all, we cannot keep on talking about how we look and what next to eat all the time.

Before Sunset also depicts a certain maturity in writer-director Linklater’s approach to the film. He knows where to indulge and where to keep it short. The closing scene of the movie is a great example in case.

And this time around, we are also awarded with Julie Delpy’s lovely voice as she sings a waltz for Jesse. A bonus.

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