I’m sure there are many who have seen one or both of these films. They are minimalist, nothing really happens, they show the little time spent between two people who are falling in love/ are in love with each other.
Before Sunrise starts off with our two main characters Jesse and Celine meeting on a train. Both travelling somewhere. They decide to get off together and spend the day in Vienna because the guy wins the girl over with the thought that she might be regretting it years later that she never joined him, and if she turns out to hate him then she can move on with her life. A bit of a typical pick up line there but the rest of the film has better lines than that. But i think any pick up line is an excuse to break the ice anyway.
Partly inspired by James Joyce’s “Ulysses” and real experiences the film represents a day that many have probably experienced. You hang around with someone that you really dig, it’s not so much a date but a day just spent talking and walking with that person but the experience of being with them is so great that by the end of the day you feel you’re falling for them. I think a lot of people have had this one time or another. The movie represents that idealized feeling you have spending that time with that person that could be “the one” for you. I think it’s a well written movie as it captures quite well the banter between men and women on a casual date without the up tightness. However I think with days like this maybe they are best to be left as they are and not continued into the possibility of a self destructive relationship. Keeping that magic is what works in this movie. We don’t explore beyond it. It’s like what the poet John Keats said “I almost wish we were butterflies and liv’d but three summer days – three such days with you I could fill with more delight than fifty common years could ever contain.” I truly believe that ’some’ things are best left unexplored to preserve their beauty. Never examine anything too much or you’ll find it’s real meaning and you may not like it. But, how can we human beings resist such a find as “love”.
By the end of the first movie they stupidly decide to meet exactly 6 months later with no contact exchanged whatsoever. Thanks to people’s minds there is always a doubt that the other person wouldn’t show up and as the excitement died down then what’s to keep the spirit of it alive to really believe that the person will be there waiting for you. Rather cynically I thought this would be the case after watching “Before Sunrise”. It’s rather stupid to let go of the possible love of your life without even a phone number. Fate is not always so kind to give a second chance. If you let that person walk away you could be letting them go forever.
Before Sunset pretty much proved my cynicism true. One of them decided to turn up and the other due to unforeseen circumstances couldn’t. I still thought she could have tried in some way to get a message to him. Before Sunset is tinged with bitterness as our characters meet 10 years later and still very much seem to feel the same way. Even their feelings may have grown in the period. But their lives are different and not as they were making it hard for them to pick up where they left. This is the question we are left hanging with at the end of the second movie. But there is a greater chance for these two people now. They can keep in contact, they can meet again, or they can just stay together. It wouldn’t be easy but there is a possibility for them.
Favorite Quote: “Sometimes I dream about being a good father and a good husband. And sometimes it feels really close. But then other times it seems silly like it would ruin my whole life. And it’s not just a fear of commitment or that I’m incapable of caring or loving because… I can. It’s just that, if I’m totally honest with myself I think I’d rather die knowing that I was really good at something. That I had excelled in some way than that I’d just been in a nice, caring relationship.”– Jesse
Favorite Quote: “Memories are wonderful things, if you don’t have to deal with the past.” – Celine