Tuesday, July 23, 2013

MOVIE REVIEW: Before Midnight.

Thanks to OMY.SG for the invitation to the preview of Before Midnight held at the Preview Theatre at Shaw Centre.

'Before Midnight' is the third firm in Richard Linklater's 'Before' trilology. He started with Before Sunrise in 1995 and Before Sunset in 2004.

How many of us remember that Jesse and Celine first met two decades ago on that train bound for Vienna in Before Sunrise

I am a big fan of the series. I expected the movie to be rather similar to the earlier 2 series but it turned out to be quite different but i am falling in love with Ethan Hawk and Julie Delpy all over again.

In Before Sunrise (1995), Jesse met and woo Celine during that meeting on the train and spent a magical day together in Vienna awaiting the sunrise. Both went the separate way after the sun risen. In Before Sunset, both of them came together again after 9 long years,  they met and they walked through the streets and they talked.

I remember this well.

Jesse: 'What do you think were the chances of us ever meeting again?'
Celine: 'After that December, I'd say almost zero. But we're not real anyway, right? we're just, uh, characters in that old lady's dream. She's on her deathbed, fantasizing about her youth. So of course we had to meet again.'

The ending of Before Sunset.

Celine: 'Baby, you are gonna miss that plane.'
Jesse: 'I know'. 

Things happened since then.

In 2013, another 9 years after the last film, Before Midnight.

As anticipated, Before Midnight is one of the greatest movies of 2013.

The feel is about the same like before though unless the earlier 2 films focused more on idolizing the love. The third is pretty down-to-earth, when the focus shifted from the fairy tale type of love to the reality. The love is definitely not quite the same after being together for 9 years. How much love is left after all these years? Though they are not officially married but they have a pair of adorable twin daughters. It is no longer about the two of them but a family to take care, and not forgetting the son from the ex-wife.

The movie started when Jesse is sending the boy off to be with ex-wife in US. Jesse has gone through a bitter divorce to be with Celine. He is guilty of not being there to be a part of the growing up of his boy. The departing of the boy somewhat awaken his bit of fatherly love. This prompted Jesse to consider moving his current family to be with the boy in US.

The main focus of the movie is the domesticated love between Jesse and Celine particularly the deep frustration of Celine. She felt the amount of sacrifices made to the extent she is forced to give up her interests in writing and singing songs as well as the little involvement of her partner, leaving her feeling kind of helpless during certain phases of the life. She maxed out on the level of her endurance till she felt there is no more love for her man. The 'I don't love you anymore' is a powerful word before she walked out of that door.

There is no such thing as perfect partner. Though Jesse and Celine are intellectually comparable but not quite a perfect match in terms of the different outlook on life.

Celine asked Jesse, what would be the one thing he wanted to change in her. Jesse simply wanted her to stop changing him. No one is perfect so just find the right person. That person that you can love with all your heart. That person you will feel comfortable with. That person that accepts the complete you.

Jesse told Celine, he accepted her as a whole package, the brilliance and also the craziness.

A happy ending is expected so little surprises when Jesse decided to reconcile. The little love left in the hearts of both decided to give in and to try harder to stay together. 

Life is hard but having a partner to share it somewhat sweeten it.

To achieve true happiness is a common goal in life. Many a time, the biggest factor preventing it in achieving it, simply and sadly, ourselves. Somehow, we should stop to further complicate it and just live it well. It would so much simpler and enjoyable that way.

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