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A real sunrise...
Apr 26, 2006 04:47 AM 2156 Views
(Updated Apr 26, 2006 05:36 AM)





What is LOVE?

Is it spending time with your beloved? Is it being on the phone all day long when you are apart? Is it buying your partner gifts? Is it feeling lonely when you are not together?

The point I'm trying to make is - How would you realize that what you feel is LOVE?

'Before Sunrise' makes a very interesting point. Ethan Hawke(Jesse)is an American who has come to Europe to meet his girlfriend. Julie Delpy (Celine) is on her way to Paris. Destiny causes them to sit next to each other in the train. They start talking. They continue talking. Soon it's time for Ethan to get off the train. Since his flight to the US is only next day and he doesn't have money to spend in a hotel room, he plans to roam in Vienna for 1 evening. He invites Celine to join him. She thinks about it, decides she likes the idea, grabs her bag and gets off with him. They talk more. They talk still more. They walk, and they talk. But, they were strangers till a few minutes earlier. So they actually should not have anything in common to talk about. However, they keep walking and they keep talking. They talk on varied topics and slowly but surely, each reveals a part of their personality. They have different opinions, they have similar opinions. They argue, they agree. They fight , they laugh. But they keep walking, and they keep talking. Soon it is night and they feel that they know each other better than most other people know their own selves! They sleep in a park in the open (No sex, says Celine, since it will dilute the freshness and the spontaneity of the wonderful evening) and the next morning, it is time to move apart. As much as you expect that there be some twist and they stay together, alas, it is not to be. Life is not always helpful and hard decisions must be made. That, in essence, is what happens before sunrise!

Before sunrise is that kind of the movie where you cannot afford to miss even a small dialogue. Each sentence spoken by the two protagonists is filled with multiple meanings and reveals some of their personality. You are glued to the screen as one of the most natural conversations you have ever seen unfolds on the screen. But where this movie hits you hard is after you have watched the movie and continue with your life. It presents an angle of love that is so far removed from tradition that you have probably never thought of it. As Ethan mentions in the movie, 20 years down the line, when they are married to different people and life becomes a monotony of mundane chores, that one evening will forever be etched in their memories. Now, is that love? or is it companionship? or is it friendship? A good life is probably a great collection of memories, but what if? What if they had stayed together? Would life have been better? or would it have diluted the resplendence of that one evening? The point is: this movie forces you to think.

This movie essentially belongs to 3 people - Ethan, Julie and the director (Richard Linklater). The performances of the lead cast (Ethan and Julie) are most amazing. They are as natural as any 2 lovers walking on the street. Their reactions are spontaneous and there are a number of very lengthy takes which add to the natural look of the whole movie. Credit for this goes to the director who has wonderfully brought to life a very interesting and different idea.

In essence, it is a wonderful effort at a different kind of cinema.

Go - watch it - you won’t be disappointed!

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