21 October, 2006

Movie Series: 1. Before Sunrise/ Before Sunset

Here, a limerick feels strangely out-of-place. So, instead, I'll insert a wonderful poem from the movie itself. :-)

Delusion Angel

- David Jewell

Daydream, delusion, limousine, eyelash.
Oh baby with your pretty face.
Drop a tear in my wineglass.
Look at those big eyes.
See what you mean to me.
Sweet-cakes and milkshakes.
I'm delusion angel, I'm fantasy parade,
I want you to know what I think.
Don't want you to guess anymore.
You have no idea where I came from.
We have no idea where we're going.
Latched in life, Like branches in a river,
Flowing downstream, Caught in the current,
I'll carry you, You'll carry me.
That's how it could be, Don't you know me?
Don't you know me by now?

As I mentioned in the previous post, This post starts a new series:
My Favourite Movies. Here I'll be part-reviewing, part-appreciating some of my favourite movies. I recommend them. I am not a movie-reviewer, and am not saying I have a very good taste in movies. I am just putting forward my recommendations, as everyone else does. :-) I begin with my personal favourite:

Before Sunrise

I saw half an hour of this movie on HBO one day, and was enchanted. I did not know what more lay in store, and no site could inform me. Once I saw the whole movie, I discovered why. This movie has almost no plot, and the substance is essentially incompressible.

The plot goes like this: A young man meets a woman on a train, talks to her for a while. He has to get off at Vienna, but they both enjoy each other's company so much that she decides to spend a day with him in Vienna, and catch the next morning's train. The movie is about the magical day, and how they fall in love.

The movie follows them travelling around Vienna, talking about love, the sexes, God, and philosophy. Their conversation feels real, except for the fact that it is difficult to find such intelligent persons to chat with. The movie is simple, profound, and heartbreaking. It is also something I've never seen before. Forget the cheesy romances of Bollywood and the romantic comedies of Hollywood, this is the true romantic movie.

I've rarly seen better acting than what Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy accomplish here, and there's real chemistry between them. Richard Linklater, who also co-wrote the movie, directs it in such a way that we can feel what the characters are experiencing, and that allows the movie to reach us.

The movie contains many wonderful scenes, like a scene where Celine and Jesse (the names of the characters) listen to a song in a listening booth. The movie may be a dream, but it is very romantic and touching, and the script and acting very real. Go watch this, for the magic.

Before Sunset

A sequel to Before Sunrise came 9 years later, not because of greed (Before Sunrise didn't do very well), but because the actors and director felt the need for developing the characters. The ending of the first movie was incomplete (deliberately), and some felt that the sequel will not do justice to the "what will happen" feeling of Before Sunrise. But Before Sunset doesn't dissapoint.

You have to be a little mature in the ways of love to understand Before Sunset, which I am not. But I did enjoy it. This movie is even more restricted than the former: there is less plot, more talk, and it takes place in real time. But Hawke and Delpy, who co-wrote the screenplay, again enchant with their chemistry and acting. This movie isn't a dream like the previous one, but it is about the reality of love, and how rarely we find a true connection. And the ending again poses a "what will happen" question, except this time we know what.

What I gather from IMDB is, viewers (who like this kind of movie) will enjoy both, but those below 30 will like Sunrise more, and those above will like Sunset. I am in the former category. I also feel Sunrise has a richer tale. But watch both. :-)


  1. Being a certified aging fogey, I have to say I still prefer Before Sunrise, if only by a nose ... together, there aren't two better movies about the mystery of love, and they are Richard Linklater's greatest accomplishments

  2. Haven't seen the movie yet, but I have requested AnoNick for it; due to a certain lovely Miss Delphy, ahem.
    But to put it bluntly not a good review, more of an appreciation rather ( euphemism for a bad review? ). Dude, you have not written an engaging review. Though the reader might go out and rent the movie; you have not shown an eye for detail about the finer nuances of filmaking. Also the review does not show a good command over the language, which I know you possess. Since you are going to have review on ' The Bridge on the River Kwai' and I have seen the movie, maybe i can be more discerning with my comment on it. Looking forward to it.

  3. i thought it was an excellent reveiw, i have seen before sunrise, & it is one of my favorite movies to date. I wasn't even aware of Before Sunset, so i thank you for acknowledging it.