Before Midnight Review

Before Midnight

Sunrises, sunsets and midnights.

People who fall in love are supposed to enjoy all these things with each other.

But sometimes fate has other plans in store.

Just ask Jesse and Celine.

Eighteen years ago, these two crazy kids meet on a train and fell in love with each other overnight as they walked through the streets and gardens of Vienna.

But then reality came calling, dragging Jesse away from his travelling around Europe and back home to America.

When you’re lucky enough to meet someone who has your number though, you don’t let a little thing like geography stand in your way.

So, in those un-evolved pre Google and Facebook days, Jesse and Celine agree to meet each other again in six months at the same Viennese train station where their journey began.

Of course, you never can tell what plan fate has in store for you.

Which, as it turns out for our star crossed lovers, is for them to meet again nine years after their first time instead.

Life has worn them down since that first innocent meeting all those moons ago but, as is the way with people you magically connect with, Jesse and Celine’s chemistry remains undimmed.

But another nine years have passed since their second, first date, and the story fate mapped out for Jesse and Celine has shifted once more.

Before Midnight is the third act in the love saga between fictional characters Jesse and Celine, the two lovers created by director Richard Linklater, and vividly brought to life by Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy.

Before Midnight
The winning formula of these movies sounds simple enough; create two realistic and three dimensional characters who are searching for something and find it in the spirit and naturalistic conversations they share with each other.

Sounds simple, but then how come it’s only Linklater, Hawke and Delpy who’ve cracked this code in Hollywood.

I’m not going to reveal anything about the third instalment these happy three have created for their characters, as that would simply spoil half the fun.

But if Before Sunrise captures the magic of falling in love for the first time, and Before Sunset rekindles the hope that this feeling never goes away with the right person, then Before Midnight is the natural evolution of this story.

And all the ingredients that fans loved about the first two film are wonderfully present and correct in this new film; from the romantic scenery and locale of a foreign country, the fabulous chemistry between Hawke and Delpy to the stunningly genuine and natural dialogue that shoots back and forward between their characters.

Before Midnight will restore your faith in filmmakers, at a time when Hollywood’s maddening infatuation of making films without a story shows no sign of slowing down

And if fate had other plans in store for your very own Jesse and Celine, it might even help to restore a little of your own faith.

Jonathan Campbell

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June 2013
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