Dare I say that “Before Sunrise” is one of the top romantic films in the last two decades? Yes, I would.
Granted, I’m not a fan of this genre myself, although I would make considerations every once in a while – say, Wong Kar-wai’s “In the Mood For Love”, Goran Dukić’s “Wristcutters: A Love Story”, and this one plus “Before Sunset”. I cringe over sappy storylines and cheesy lines and, as horrible as this might sound, laugh at practically almost everything on screen. Basically, except maybe if a romance flick has elements of horror or surrealism, angst, and a huge dose of realism injected in it, if it has a rare or unique approach to telling a love story, I’m not your go-to movie buddy to watch and spazz over your run-of-the-mill romantic flick. Especially if you’re really into that genre.
I’ve been hearing about the Richard Linklater-helmed “Before Sunrise” long before I actually got to sit down and watch it. Everyone I’ve asked only has good reviews about it. I don’t know if that has influenced me somehow, but from beginning to the very end I found “Before Sunrise” a joy to watch. I think the story was intriguing: two strangers Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy) meet by chance while aboard a train, decide to disembark to a city neither of them were from, and spend the next 12 hours until the following morning aimlessly roaming about the city and having profound conversations over life, love, personal issues, and other philosophies. It’s these conversations that essentially fuel the whole film, and if you’re not a fan of talkie films you might find this statement daunting. Don’t, because every bit of it is worth listening to and mulling over. Plus it’s set in Vienna, so there’s that bonus of listening in to their thoughts while seeing all those lovely places in the city.
Without considering the equally brilliant sequels that completed the “Before” trilogy in the next 18 years, “Before Sunrise” ends on an ambiguous note, with Jesse and Celine parting ways without any form of contact detail from one another and only the agreement that they’d meet at the same place in six months’ time. It’s a romantic gesture, something that some might find foolish, but I think it only follows that they do this given their way of thinking and their personalities. “Before Sunrise” is beautiful, quiet, an almost poetic interpretation of a love story with many noteworthy moments, and if you haven’t seen it yet, or if like me is extremely picky when it comes to their romantic flicks, you definitely should add this to your playlist.
To end this piece, I’ll leave you with this interesting story on Linklater’s inspiration for “Before Sunrise” and its trailer below:
All stills in this feature were sourced from Beautiful Stills from Beautiful Films.
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