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Before Sunset


Before Sunrise


Hitting thirty - feeling pretty, dazed and maybe dirty


1
Short-n-sweet synopsis
There's not much you can say about this film that the protagonists don't say in their arch verbal sparring. They pontificate philosophically, reminisce both airily and warily, and exchange emotions gleefully and sparingly.
Coz you see (if you've seen Before Sunset - which I haven't - yet), they've met before - one carefree day nine years ago in Vienna. And their paths have swept them off down distinct but passion-linked routes throughout the intervening years. That's to say - they've lived seperate lives, but they're still in each others' sway.

Short-n-sweet summary
It's all in the synopsis. Linklater finds some life-glue in this. It sticks to you. He found some top class collaborators too. Vive la diference - then live through it.

Short-n-sweet-review (if I have to )
2
Despite the evidently cerebral and procedural nature of a film based on one long conversation, this self assured, yet self-doubting, creation glides along so well that you just don't want to analyse it. Yes, Linklater uses lingering yet non-interfering shots that allow his actors to schmooze and persuse. Yes, the actors were in on the script, so this multi-rhythmic waterfall of dialogue we hear was prescribed by previous ears - but damn the whole thing flows so well you don't want to dip a bucket into that well just to take a sample. You don't want to dam the swell just to trap its sparkle. At the risk of being (more) pretentious, i'd say that, even if you don't like the sentiments expressed, or the emotional and philosophical mess the protagonists get enmeshed in, you've still got to respect the way they recreate one 'meaningful' day, saturated with natural subtexts but still left with enough breathing room to glide on its way.

It's not alienating like some 'heavy' French foreplay flicks - It's not 'light' like a Hollywood romcom full of emotional glitches. It's a streamlined set of tragi-comic stitches that circumscribes some marvellously fleshy life bits. It's more than just a fun light shower to weather, I'd say.

My verdict: One day with someone you love, and maybe the rest of your life with them too. What that's worth is up to you.