Movie Review: Before Sunrise

August 29, 2021

I know this movie has been released decades ago, which we consider now as a classic romantic clip. Finally, I got the chance to really sit down and watch it today. 🍿

The motivation to watch this movie actually came about from a discussion with my friends Krishan, Jean, and Hazel. We had this wonderful discussion over Zoom (that lasted for around 5 hours, which was the longest we've done so far I think) wherein we talked about our opinions on different scenarios of love and friendship. And then suddenly I thought of this movie and suggested to them that this is a movie that I think would portray how two people can really connect with each other through quality conversations.

I knew this movie would involve a lot of active listening because 90% of the scenes are just of them talking, so I watched this wearing my headset. And oh my, I wasn't ready to be so immersed into their story.

With just a few minutes into the movie, I was hooked already. Celine and Jesse were both solo travelling on a train, and they initially do small talk asking each other what book they were reading (haha the bookworm in me squealed with joy). Immediately I was transported to that time of my solo travel to Tokyo. I actually also brought a book with me at Sumida Park wherein I silently minded my own business while the people around me were having picnics under the cherry blossom trees. I also got reminded of this guy that I met on a tour bus there that I somehow got to like. I'm bad at doing small talks and it just got me thinking if I just asked those questions that I wanted to ask him during that one day that we were together, we might have connected more. Oh well, that will be one of my forever what-ifs. 😅

Jesse is such a charming man. I loved his narrative about time travel and taking chances. I actually have had that train of thought also, involving my parents. Whenever I feel guilty that I don't spend much time with them or that I don't pamper them that much, I start to think that this is the Universe speaking to me that they have actually granted my future self's wish to time travel to do things differently. I was so amazed that Jesse mentioned this in the movie, and just with that, I super love this movie already.

Well, the movie's magic is just starting to unfold. The story progressed with them departing the train and walking together in Vienna. They take turns asking each other questions and Jesse talks about his thoughts about reincarnation, and Celine talks about her childhood swimmer crush. I observed that their conversation is really balanced. Each of them had their chance to share their thoughts and they don't interrupt each other's sentences. The flow of conversation is so natural.

Through these exchanges, we also get to see the differences of how men and women think. Women look at the world like a fairytale, with magical coincidences like that of the palm reader and the poet. On the other hand, men are very objective and cynical- they don't believe too much on what other people say, especially if they do it for the money.

Another observation I saw was that neither of them have addressed if they were single or not (well they didn't wear wedding rings, but still), and I was relieved when they did mention it in the middle of the movie. Good thing they weren't romantically attached at that moment, but I just wondered if they would still spend time together (and even kiss!) if they were already committed? And it also pays to take note that Jesse was just fresh from a breakup. Is he just emotionally vulnerable and just took Celine as his emotional refuge? 🤔

Another aspect that I liked about the movie is how they didn't really have a destination. They were just mindlessly walking around Vienna and checking out places they stumble upon. I hope to do something like this in one of my travels in the future, may it be with friends or my significant other. 😀

"We are each other's demons and angels." Jesse tells a lot of thought-provoking quotes, right? I don't know why but this statement struck me very deeply. Thinking about it, yes there are people in our life that kind of brings out either the best or worst version of ourselves. That's how I interpret it anyway. 

This movie really brought out the feels in me, especially the last few minutes of the movie. It reminded me of how we could share deep intimate moments with people even within just a fleeting amount of time. And that actually what makes those moments even more precious. I can't wait to watch the sequel of this movie to see what's next in their story. 💓

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