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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Movie Reviews-Before Sunrise and Before Sunset

Hawke and Delpy returned nine years after Before Sunrise to do the sequel, Before Sunset.  Photo courtesy Warner Independent Pictures
Hawke and Delpy returned nine years after Before Sunrise to do the sequel, Before Sunset. Photo courtesy Warner Independent Pictures

By Julissa Treviño/south news editor

Before Sunrise (5 stars) and Before Sunset (5 stars)

Hawke and Delpy returned nine years after Before Sunrise to do the sequel, Before Sunset.  Photo courtesy Warner Independent Pictures
Hawke and Delpy returned nine years after Before Sunrise to do the sequel, Before Sunset. Photo courtesy Warner Independent Pictures

As the couple walks across the screen, in two of the most beautiful cities in Europe, completely in love, it’s hard to believe they’re strangers.

Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke create the perfect blend of anonymity and love in the films, Before Sunrise and Before Sunset.

Both films tell the story of Jesse (Hawke), a cynical American, and Celine (Delpy), an optimistic French college student, who fall in love after knowing each other only a short while.

In Before Sunrise, the two meet on a train to Vienna and unexpectedly decide to spend Jesse’s last night in Europe sightseeing.

The film is a tale of two people at a crossroads. When Celine is about to get off the train, she looks at both sides of the train track as though she knows her decision to join Jesse will change their lives.

Nine years later, Before Sunset follows Jesse and Celine as they catch up on their lives when she surprises Jesse at his book signing in Paris.

Again, they have only a few hours to reconnect and find out whether they’re really meant to be together.

In both movies, Jesse and Celine spend their time talking about their lives, past relationships, dreams and aspirations and every other topic imaginable.

Unfolding in real time, the love story focuses on characters rather than actions. 

And though the films are based solely on the two characters, they are done in such a way that actually captures the attention of the audience.

Director Richard Linklater does an amazing job at developing the two characters through their conversations and even with the setting (because a romance isn’t complete without a beautiful city in which to fall in love).

Jesse and Celine are so different it seems odd for them to be together, but perhaps opposites do attract because Jesse and Celine are so real and natural together.

The characters’ personalities complement each other as though they’ve known each other for years. They connect in a way most people never experience.

But to see the transition from the young, free, adventurous personalities to their vulnerability, worries and maturity nine years later is to see the reality of human existence. Their experience is almost symbolic of life itself.

The two films are perceptive, funny and smart.

Perhaps the best thing about the films is they’re not just romance movies. They transcend genres and can truly appeal to everyone.

Before Sunrise and Before Sunset are romantic cinematic portrayals of real life in which every element of the films come together flawlessly and beautifully.

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