08 December 2005
Before Sunset!- Movie Review
Ever had that feeling where you are completely lost in your strange imagination of sequence of events between you and the most sophisticated woman you have met till that point in your life? She just gave u a smile, walked past you and is sitting three rows in front of you in the local Bus. You create in your mind those little impossible realistic events between you and her where she happens to live near your apartment; she is your best friend’s cousin; she gets stuck in the road because her scooter broke down. You miraculously happen to be in that exact spot helping her; You walk with her to her home talking politics, women and shoes, Men and infidelity, soul mates, your dislike for searching the missing pair of socks, her love for the depth in ghazals, cold coffee, Calvin & Hobbes, her dilemma with size of heels, why Men don’t file their nails, why kids always find the urge to shower u when u pick them up, everything and anything under the sun as if there was no one else on the road.You can’t help but admire her laugh. She can’t help but notice the way she is teasing you. You don’t want the evening to end but she is standing at the gates of her apartment. You try to act appropriately so as to not ruin your chances and she feels the connection strongly and doesn’t want to enter her home. The moment lingers on as u say, “Goodnight!” You are sure in your heart, its love! A hunch! An instinct! A voice deep within you telling, “She is the One”!.
And then suddenly,you are thrown from your seat as the Bus comes to a halt and you hold the steel bar in front of you trying to wake up from ur ‘realistic’ dream. She stares at you and gets down from the bus leaving you dazed, crazed, confused, happy and sad at the same time. You don’t know her name. Her number. You realize it's too late to stop the bus and follow her. Suddenly you see those magic events you had built up,crumbling down but you are still hopeful. Hopeful that u will see her again. She might be sitting at the doctor’s office or she joins the company as new trainee and assigned to you or she is your sister’s classmate. Those sweet moments that you conjure up in the vacuum of daily drudgery lingers on for a long time in your life and brings a smile to your face every time you think about it!
“Before Sunset” is one such movie that takes you back into those moments of your life!
It’s about two people, Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy), who spent one great evening together (prequel-Before Sunrise) and decided to meet after six months in Vienna. They neither have each other’s phone number nor address. The first movie ends with that promise and the second one starts with Jesse signing his new book in a small bookstore in Paris after eight years. His book about that one night with Celine has become a bestseller. We understand Celine didn’t show up after six months as Jesse sees Celine standing in the corner of that little bookstore.
They have few hours before Jesse has to catch a flight to NY.
From the awkwardness of meeting someone very close after so many years, the characters chatter away slowly walking down the streets of Paris without any cinematic gimmicks. The movie is almost shot in real-time in the streets of Paris. It’s real. Honest. Emotionally charged. And like your ‘realistic’ dreams, it gives you a sense of ‘it could happen’. Both Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke have acted brilliantly. You feel for the lost opportunities of the characters involved yet get excited about the future possibilities between them. There are two kinds of directors. One who is visually oriented –Oliver Stone, Spielberg, Kubrick, Maniratnam etc. and the other who is dialogue oriented – David Mammet (Glengarry GlenRoss), SpikeJonze (Adaptation, Being John Malkovich), Cameron Crowe (Jerry Maguire, Almost Famous) etc. While the former genre amazes you, the latter stimulates your intellectual senses. You get a rare dose of that heavily dialogue-oriented movie genre that transports you in to a different plane as it plays along.What surprises you is that to make a good movie, you don't need big actors,big budget,eye-popping special effects but just a simple strong narrative as this movie proves!
Intelligent, smart, witty, moving, emotionally honest, touching, slice-of-life movie after a looooong time!
Don’t Miss it!