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Director: Richard Linklater
Writers: Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke, Kim Krizan
Cast: Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy, Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick, Jennifer Prior, Charlotte Prior, Xenia Kalogeropoulou, Walter Lassally, Ariane Labed, Yiannis Papadopoulos, Athina Rachel Tsangari, Panos Koronis, Enrico Focardi, Manolis Goussias, Anouk Servera, Yota Argyropoulou
Synopsis: We meet Jesse and Celine nine years on in Greece. Almost two decades have passed since their first meeting on that train bound for Vienna.
MPAA Rating: Rated R for sexual content/nudity and language
- Goes over themes about a relationship that are worth exploring like if love truly does last forever, or if love is always destined to die out over time.
- Excellent wrap up to arguably one of the most interesting franchises in cinematic history
- Nice settings
- Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke continue to give solid performances, while maintaining a good chemistry with each other.
- Nice direction with the story
- Well paced
- If you're not into character study films, where all the protagonists do is talk, then chances are you're not going to like this movie; regardless of what anyone says.
An epic conclusion to arguably one of the most unique film series ever made
It seems this franchise has started to gain some recognition by mainstream audiences, since the third film managed to snag a screenplay nomination at this year's Academy Awards. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this franchise, then I should warn you that this movie isn't for everyone.
Unlike most films, this one predominantly focuses on two people talking about where their lives have gone since being with each other. Not much action, or anything at all. Just two people talking about their lives. If you can imagine eavesdropping on a couple talking, for a few hours, about personal stuff, then you should have a general idea how this film is like. It's not really much of a film, but more of a character study if anything.
If you're into movies like this, then you'll definitely love "Before Midnight." However, if this sounds like something you wouldn't like, then I'd probably avoid this one at all costs. Again, it takes something of an acquired taste to get into it. But if you're like me, and you yearn to see something different, then you should get by it okay.
In the first movie, "Before Sunrise", it featured a young couple meeting for the first time in Europe. The two are fairly young, and fall madly in love with each other. Both exchange pleasantries, and they have a good time. Like this one, "Before Sunrise" is also a character study, where all the two main characters do is talk about their lives and interests. The two end up getting separated before ever knowing each other's full name, due to a series of events.
They get reunited again in "Before Sunset", where the basic premise is the same. The two meet each other again for the first time, since that incident ten years ago. They talk about their lives, and interests. They even talk about how much their lives have changed, since they last saw each other.
Fast forward nine years later, and we see how their relationship has progressed in "Before Midnight." The couple has been married to each other for nine years now, as they even have a pair of twin girls together. However, like most married couples, it's also filled with regret, and pining for the old days. Like many of us do when we reach our midlife crisis, we often look to the past wondering how our lives might have been different if we didn't make the choices that we've made in our lives.. And, there's the everlasting question...does love truly last forever? Or is love something that burns out over time, yet the older generation is just too stubborn to pick up on the concept? Does love and the romance between a couple truly die?
When you stop and think about it, maybe there's some truth to that. After all, most couples will tell you that every time they kiss that it's never as good as the first time they did it. And, divorce rates are higher in today's society than they ever were before, so maybe "Before Midnight" might be onto something.
Or perhaps, not all relationships are perfect, and that love truly means staying together no matter what hardships and adversity gets thrown our way. Maybe the ideals of a perfect relationship is nonexistent, but the reality is that true love means both parties working together to make their relationship work no matter what.
"Before Midnight" delves into all these concepts quite beautifully. Unlike most film franchises, you won't need to see the past two movies to understand what's going on, as the story is set up well enough for any newcomer to jump right into. However, if you have been following the franchise up to this point, then you'll just have a deeper understanding on what's going on.
As I mentioned before, "Before Midnight" isn't for everyone, but it's an interesting franchise to get into if you're yearning to see a different kind of love story. It has comedy, drama and heart that makes it a treat to watch.
Plus, it helps that you have two actors like Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy that have a lot of chemistry together. Both of them play their parts rather well, and you genuinely believe that they're in love with each other throughout most of this series.
I especially loved the settings for this film, as it's such a treat to watch. Although the actors spend most of their time just talking to each other, it's interesting seeing all the various European locations these two often wander through during their time together.
Overall, if you're into various character studies like this, or you just want to see something different, then you'll probably love "Before Midnight." However, if you're not into movies where all the characters do is talk, then chances are you're not going to like this movie; regardless what I might say about it.
© 2014 Steven Escareno