Movie Review: Before Midnight

September 24, 2021

Here we are. We have come to the final installment of the Before trilogy. And oh, what a ride it was.

If you have not caught up, I have been into the Before movies since August and I have been busy taking my time marinating in the plot, the characters, and the overall feeling that the movies brought to me. I know that these movies have been released ages ago, and I am just so thankful that I can still access them. You just need to know where to search. 😜

With just the opening scene of this movie, the audience is given the narrative that the story continues several years after the Before Sunset timeline. Jesse is talking to his son at the airport, bidding him goodbye as he flies back to the US. And when Jesse exits the airport, a delightful realization comes to me as I see Celine waiting for him alongside a car, with two twin girls sleeping in the backseat. 😳 So that's what happened in that cliffhanger of movie two. This is the result of the decisions they made at that time. They did choose each other in the end. As an audience rooting for them, I was already in cloud nine within these few minutes of the film.

But then reality bites. As they drive away from the airport and travel to their next destination, they discuss stuff. Here comes the conflict. Career decisions. Priorities. Clashing of point of view. The way they talked to each other made it clear that the honeymoon phase of their relationship was long over. They were already so used to each other, and they now argue like my parents (oops 😗). And that's the beauty of this movie series. These three films were able to portray love in different stages, and I'm so onboard for it. 

I think most people would agree with me that the cringiest part of this film was their fight in the hotel room. It felt like all the can of worms and dirty laundry were excavated from both of their chests and they were slamming each argument to each other's faces. But there's one thing I observed: their arguments were more on the defensive rather than the offensive. They were both giving their points on why they think they've done better in keeping their relationship. They were questioning each other's priorities, but not really blaming each other directly. Based on other viewers' feedback (c/o Reddit), couple fights can go way way nastier than this. Oooh. I cannot imagine being hurled into this kind of drama. I hope my future husband and I will get along well. I do understand that fights are healthy between couples, but I hope each one ends with a resolution so that the same issue won't rise again and again in future arguments. 😖

I have to say that the ending of Before Midnight was not as satisfying as the first two, given that this is the final installment. Which brings me to the conclusion that this might not be the last one. Upon quick googling, I found out that these three movies had a pattern - they were released 9 years apart from each other. If the producers follow the same direction, the next movie should be released next year, 2022. However, the lead actress that played Celine, Julie Delpy, has expressed her resistance to revisit the characters and the story again. I do want another one, and this bit of news kind of saddened me. But maybe it's just best to leave the story where it ended on Before Midnight, to seal the magic of their love story. What's worse than spoiling the whole narrative with a forced sequel, right?

Being able to watch these three movies has been a wonderful and entertaining experience. I can't wait to bring my ideas and opinions back to my friends when we discuss these movies in our non-work Zoom sessions. 🥰

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