Before Sunset / Before Sunrise

You can never replace anyone because everyone is made up of such beautiful specific details.

The other day the movie Before Sunrise arrived from Netflix.  I had been eager to see it for awhile after hearing good things about it and its sequel, Before Sunset.   So, I watched the first (Before Sunrise) and loved it.  Plain and simple, loved it and couldn’t wait to see the second.  I loved the setting, the simplicity of it, the characters and how well they were developed despite a very short timespan in the movie and very little “action”.  I loved their conversations and how “real” their chemistry and interaction felt.  I just loved it.

The second arrived last night and I immediately sat down to watch.  I had a lot of expectations for the sequel after having loved the first one so much.  But, it was a let-down.  It actually seemed like the actors – Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy – had become worse over time.  They were better when they were younger.  And even so, the sequel is on my mind today, the day after I saw it.  Not in a Life of David Gale or Quills way but I noticed several interesting things in it that I’m still pondering.

The real interesting thing with these movies is the contrast between the two, how different the same characters are with nine years between them.  They are both so much more guarded, serious, droll, cynical, responsible, reflective, deep and even calloused since they got older.  And I find that to be so true of real life but sad.  Why is it that we lose so much fun when we grow up?

The other very interesting thing, possibly the most interesting thing to me, is how much I identify with Celine’s character.

Celine: Men go out with me, we break up and then they get married. And later they call me to thank me for teaching them what love is. That I taught them to care and respect women.
Jesse: I think I’m one of those guys.
Celine: I wanna kill them! Why didn’t they ask me to marry them? I would’ve said no, but at least they could have asked.

I love that line. I identify with that line.  I identify with her.  She wants to be strong, idependent, self-sufficient, and to go after and accomplish her dreams but she can’t quite figure out how to balance that with her wish to love and be loved. She is very very good at doing things, following her dreams, accomplishing things and making things happen but she cannot for the life of her make love happen.  It eludes and baffles her.  As a result, she ends up giving up and figuring that her best course of action is to become even more independent and focused on her goals and dreams.

Celine: I always feel this pressure of being a strong and independent icon of womanhood, and without making it look my whole life is revolving around some guy. But loving someone, and being loved means so much to me. We always make fun of it and stuff. But isn’t everything we do in life a way to be loved a little more?

Very nicely said.

The short story is that I loved the first one the best but, after sleeping on the second, would definitely watch it again.  Aside from not-nearly-as-good acting, the character development that continues in the second is fascinating.

And, of course, anything set in Paris is good by me.

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2 thoughts on “Before Sunset / Before Sunrise

  1. Nice review, KB! Sis liked the first movie (not sure what her opinion is on the second), but I’ve yet to watch it.

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