Classic Film Review: Before Sunrise (1995)

So I just finished watching the first installment of Richard Linklater’s romance trilogy, that being Before Sunrise…

Before Sunrise tells the story of Jesse and Celine, two strangers that meet on a train, heading two different places in their life. When the train stops in Austria, Jesse convinces Celine to get off with him, and they explore the city of Vienna whilst falling deeply and madly in love.

Absolutely beautiful. A simple yet stunning portrait of sparks flying and romance blossoming.

Brilliant script, fantastic characters and performances (Ethan Hawke and Julie Delphy are both absolutely incredible, and have amazing chemistry, as Jesse and Celine), great cinematography and editing, great soundtrack, etc.

This film is so barebones and so simplistic in its approach. It is mainly just two people talking and moving around a city. But the conversations they have are just unbelievable. This complex and philosophical examination of the meaning of love and how it relates to our lives. It touches on how and why relationships operate the way they do, and why these emotions are so powerful. The excitement of this film is not in its inciting actions or its climax (though the film has a clear plot structure), it’s in listening to Linklater muse, through these characters, just why love…is as it is.

If I had to knock it, there was one weird instance of awkward ADR work (in the cemetery scene when they were walking in), but I stopped caring about it as the movie went along to the point it was negligible.

Overall, this is an absolute masterpiece. It is one of the most heartfelt and realistic love movies of all time, and not only is it one of the best films of the 90s, it is one of the best films I have ever seen and has ever been made. A Brilliant work of art. Watch it.

10 out of 10

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