Monday, January 09, 2006

Before Sunset

Rating - 3.5/4

In this, the sequel to Before Sunrise, Jesse is in Paris for a book signing where he has his second encounter with Celine. Reviews of this film contain the other "technical" details for this film so I'm not going to waste time with those. I'll just say that Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy play their parts to perfection; I wouldn't be surprised if they fell for each other through the duration of the scripting and filming of this movie.

Back to my review of the film. The interactions between Jesse and Celine are spunky, quasi-intellectual and charged with emotion. The two could have been meeting after a few months, not nine years. As the movie "unreels", their bond seems unreal given the passage of time between their meetings. They are both very much in love with each other but can't admit it to one another. During the course of their conversations, they touch upon the world, their work and everything in between. There is an invisible electricity that flows in the space between them that adds to the tension of the situation. And then, their conversations get personal...

Both unhappy in their current relationships, they bemoan the possibility that the one night they spent in Vienna nine years ago might have sucked up all the romanticism they had to offer. They talk incessantly through the streets of Paris, their boat ride on the Seine and in the car as he drops her to her apartment, discussing their feelings and thoughts about that one night in Vienna. His desire to spend every possible moment with her made me crave for that one person that I'd like to feel this way about. And as Celine strummed her guitar as she sang "A Waltz" to Jesse, I reflected on the times I wrote letters or poems for women I was smitten with. It was as if she was picking my heart's strings, and the lyrics were my own.

True to form, the movie ended abruptly, leaving me on the brink and begging for closure. The possibilities for the two were endless and the director chose not to pursue any of them. He chose instead to let me, the viewer, ponder over what the best course of action might be and to maybe reflect on similar experiences in my life. I'm adding this movie to my list of gifts to friends and by that token, I'll add it to my list of recommended movies. Go grab a DVD and check it out.

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