Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Before Sunset - A Must Watch

I was waiting to get my O.C. fix but somehow it didn't show. I felt disgruntled and decided to check out the other channels. Well, looks like everything happens for a reason. When the info box landed on HBO, it showed 'Before Sunset.' I thought to myself, "OMG could it be?" I clicked on 'OK' and yes, it WAS it!!!

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Flashback to my A-Levels days...
I used to watch BBC's Talking Movies regularly back then (Friday, 9.30pm). It's a great show that highlights and reviews not just big-budgeted Hollywood movies, but foreign and indie movies as well. They also cover movie festivals, as in the movies themselves and not fashion or gossip like most entertainment shows. I discovered many gems from this show, like 'Pieces of April' (indie film starring Katie Holmes), Elephant (indie flick directed by Gus Van Sant) and Malena (starring Monica Belluci). But 'Before Sunset' takes the cake. FYI, this movie has won many film awards but I was already intrigued by this movie (which is a sequel) when I first heard about it in Talking Movies. I couldn't find it anywhere in KL (not even my source who sold me the indie and foreign fix) and I didn't notice it in Singapore.

Anyway, about the movie...
'Before Sunset' takes place 9 years after its predecessor, 'Before Sunrise.' So to understand Sunset, we must first have a picture about Sunrise.

In Sunrise, Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy) are two strangers who somehow met by chance and formed a connection with one another (I don't know how exactly- haven't watched it). They spent a beautiful, magical night together, just talking and... connecting. Like a missing jigsaw piece finally in place. Before sunrise, they vowed to meet up again. But something happened, and they never saw each other again. And they were also silly enough to not have exchanged phone numbers. They thought that they will never meet again. Or will they ever?

Moral of the story: Always exchange phone numbers with the person you think might be 'The One.'

Fast forward to 9 years after that night (December 16th, 1994). Jesse wrote a book about that once-in-a-lifetime night and it became a hit. He goes on a promo tour and he stopped in Paris. Hoping to see her again. And he did. She still remembers him (how could she not?!?!).

They spent the day together just talking, catching up with each other's lives, or rather finding out more about each other. They talked about the night, what they did with their lives after that, their feelings... a lot of re-connecting.

Okay here's a warning for those not into dialogues: It's ALL dialogue! In fact, it's truly a DIalogue, just between him and her. No supporting characters, no soundtrack, no stunts or silly gimmicks. Just him and her, talking along the streets of Paris, talking in a cafe, talking in a park, talking in a boat, talking in a car, talk, talk, talk...

And I absolutely adored it! The conversation and the chemistry felt real. You know, it's so natural to talk about anything with someone you can connect/click with. That was how smooth the conversation was. And the conversation topics were realistic. For example like in The O.C. or One Tree Hill, the script is obviously dramatised - teens do not talk like that. But in this movie, they are young 30 somethings, going through life at that age, and their conversation was realistic. Their thoughts were interesting, but not too intellectual to be inaccessible, their feelings were somewhat you can relate to, and the characters were articulate but not fake. Dammit, this is a damn well-written movie! I was fascinated by the characters, their lives. It was not even the least bit boring. I didn't want it to end.

It's a movie about two souls reconnecting. Simple and lovely, but very rare. Rare in real life, rare in the movies.

Go watch it. You won't regret it. Unless you hate chatty movies. Now I'm just gonna try to get my hands on both the Sunrise and Sunset vcds/dvds...


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