Saturday, May 25, 2013

Review: "Before Sunrise" a True Romance

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 233 (of 2004) by Leroy Douresseaux

Before Sunrise (1995)
Running time: 105 min (1 hour, 45 minutes)
MPAA – R for some strong language
DIRECTOR: Richard Linklater
WRITERS: Kim Krizan and Richard Linklater
PRODUCER: Anne Walker-McBay
EDITORS: Sandra Adair and Sheri Galloway
COMPOSER: Fred Frith


Starring: Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy

The subject of this movie review is Before Sunrise, a 1995 romantic drama film from director Richard Linklater. The film follows a young American man and a young French woman who meet on a train and spend one night in the city of Vienna, walking, talking, and getting to know each other.

After he breaks up with his girlfriend in Spain, American Jesse (Ethan Hawke) takes a train tour of Europe. On the Budapest-Vienna train, he meets Celine (Julie Delpy), a French grad student. They strike up a conversation, and Jesse convinces her to skip her stop and get off the train with him in Vienna where he’s scheduled to take a flight back to American the following morning. They walk and talk and fall in love before Jesse leaves at sunrise, but will they ever meet again?

Before Sunrise is a true romantic film. It’s about two people falling in love, but director Richard Linklater’s film is such an unusual romance because he doesn’t sell the romance between Jesse and Celine using swelling orchestral music or beautiful cinematography of lush sunsets and sunrises. Instead, he forces the audience to accept or reject the believability of the couple’s growing friendship, fascination with each other, and eventual falling in love based upon how they talk to each other. And boy, do they talk. They talk about love, life, relationships, gender, men & women, politics, history, and they sometimes even make small talk.

Before Sunrise is an acquired taste, but if you can accept how unnaturally natural Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy are in their performances, how they really seem to be getting to know each other (both as actors and characters), for real, then you’ll like this movie. This is one of those times when a film that is literally filled end to end with thick dialogue is actually as riveting as an action thriller. The ending seems a little too stretched out, but Before Sunrise is an exceptional and unique motion picture.

8 of 10

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