Movie Review: Before Sunset

September 05, 2021

 Here we are on the second part of this "Before Trilogy", as I like to call it. I must say that I was deeply moved by the first installment that's why for this movie, I was already emotionally invested with these two characters.

The story started in the wonderful city of Paris wherein we see Jesse in a library, talking about a book that he has published, apparently about the encounter that he experienced with Celine, nine years ago. With just the premise of this movie, my heart was already sinking. This just meant that they weren't able to meet as they planned a year after at that train station. 😢💔 

Unceremoniously, we see Jesse suddenly locking eyes with Celine, who was apparently watching him from afar. Jesse, of course, immediately takes his excuse from the people who were attending his book tour to go meet with Celine. I thought this scene could have been more dramatic, like a slo-mo scene wherein Jesse will have this look of surprise when he finally sees Celine. But oh well, I guess this is just the style of this movie - to make the scenes flow in real time and as realistic as possible.

With a few hours to spare before Jesse catches his flight, he walks with Celine to go grab some coffee in a nearby shop. Of course they catch up and tell each other how awkward this moment was because well it's been ages since they've met each other on that day at the train station. And I'm glad Celine raised that question if Jesse did show up in that train station a year after. And oh my gosh, my heart broke for him when he finally confessed that he did, pushing it off like it was not really a bid deal that Celine didn't come (well she had a legit reason altogether). 

During the initial parts of the movie, I felt like Jesse really wasn't able to move on from Celine. He's still crazy for her but it's the opposite for Celine. For her, that experience with Jesse long time ago was just a wonderful dream that she just had to keep as a wonderful memory while moving on with life. It hurts to realize that they were no longer in the same page in terms of their romance for each other.

But wait, was that a wedding ring on Jesse's finger? Oh no. And so apparently Jesse was already married with a child. And I couldn't help but be on Celine's side when she said "You come back here, married and with a child? Screw you!" and then I slowly realized that Celine apparently wasn't able to move on as well.

I also noticed that their perspective have changed also. Jesse was the more idealistic type of person this time, wondering if Celine's grandmother just lived a day longer, they might have met on the train station again. He even mentioned the concept of reincarnation, as if he believed in it this time (in the first movie he said he didn't). On the other hand, Celine was the more realistic one, being active with taking care of the environment and facing head-on several issues of society. 

Celine was ready to let Jesse go, always reminding him of the flight that he needed to catch, but it was Jesse who was holding on, requesting her to stay a little bit longer. They end up being in Celine's apartment wherein she gets to play a song that she wrote that was apparently about Jesse. And the film eventually fades out leaving the audience hanging on what happened next.

That was a legit cliffhanger. I hated and loved it at the same time because I didn't see it coming. When the credits rolled in, I was like "Are you serious? Is this how it ends?" Seriously I would have thrown some popcorn around if I saw this in the movie. And maybe this was why this trilogy was just a hit. Imagine the conversations that people had, exchanging ideas on what happened next in the movie. To think that the next movie would be released 9 years after. 😮 For me, the torture would be short-lived as I would be watching the final chapter this weekend. 

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