Saturday, 26 October 2013
Before Midnight 
In Before Sunrise, Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Céline (Julie Delpy) were youngsters filled with hope and idealism; in Before Sunset, when they bumped into each other 9 years later, cynicism and maturity had set in; and now 9 years later in Before Midnight, we find that their connect has taken the logical course towards matrimony. Linklater, in a masterstroke, divided the film into diametrically opposite halves from tonal standpoints – a ‘happy’ first half, and a ‘bitter’ second – and in the process brilliantly portrayed the complex relationship between love and marriage. In Greece on vacation, we see the couple enjoying a lovely light-hearted day with friends, and, having closely followed their journeys, we feel that these two independent minded people, who had displayed such instant chemistry in the earlier films, are in a state of conjugal bliss. However, as soon as they are alone in a hotel, things start going south, the indications of which had been actually provided earlier, albeit subtly. Her indecision about a job prospect and his guilt conscience on account of missing out on his teenage son’s growing up lead them towards increasingly ugly and vitriolic arguments. Even though the film ended on a heartwarming note we realize that their marriage has possibly reached its expiry date. Both Delpy and Hawke hit all the right notes as her emotional vulnerability and deep-rooted insecurity, and his coldly logical nature and regret for past failures, reach blistering loggerheads. The superbly written script imbued the protagonists and their interactions with profound and tragic depth that was deeply affecting. I sincerely hope that the incredibly ambitious and memorable ‘Before Series’ gets a final chapter 9 years later.
Director: Richard Linklater
Genre: Drama/Psychological Drama/Marriage Drama