Release Date
July 2, 2004
Director
Richard Linklater
Screenplay
Richard Linklater
Ethan Hawke
Julie Delpy
Kim Krizan (Story By)
Distributed By
Warner Independent Pictures
Budget
$2.7 million
Drama, Romance
Rated R for language and sexual references
80 minutes

Before Sunset

“Before Sunset” is an impressive feat of romantic film-making. For starters, the entire film consists mainly of a limited number of long takes, as Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy’s characters reunite after a nine year separation. Their conversations, co-written by each of them, flow on naturally as they walk the streets of Paris, sit in a cafe smoking, and float along the river on a boat. They pick-up like no time has past at all, discussing the events they’ve missed in each other’ lives over the years. A huge topic for conversation is the fate of their plans to meet up again, at the end of “Before Sunrise”, with the “what-ifs” and “how different would our lives be?” subject matters.

Hawke and Delpy embody these characters to the point of complete realism, helped immensely by the simplistic nature of the plot and execution. The audience is emotionally connected to these characters, just as they are emotionally connected to one another. They are interesting people and we are eavesdropping on their time together, as they partake in the waltz that is human nature and connection. As the end of their time together once again draws near, we pine to spend more time with these characters and are once again given an ambiguous ending that leaves us wondering what will become of them.

 

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