BEFORE MIDNIGHT – 2013 Film Review


Ratings: 1565324432246644 over a motherfucking 10 and it still isn’t enough


So what can you say about the greatest love story of all time?

That it’s fucking great and I can never and will never get enough of it. Jesse and Celine, these two lovers would always occupy a special place in my heart. Though they are just a pair of fictional characters created brilliantly by the film’s director, Richard Linklater and spiced up by the actors (ever amazing Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy), the film easily made me believe in the notion that love can happen and happen unexpectedly in its purest realistic form.

Before Midnight stems from a not-so-new idea. It is the sequel of a 1995 film, Before Sunrise and a 2004 film, Before Sunset, both films narrating Jesse and Celine’s meetings with each other.Both characters are played by the same actors since the first film. In short, they have been working together for close to 20 years just to tell us audiences the same continuous story about Jesse and Celine. That is some serious commitment, shared not by many. That, people, is dedication and as a die-hard fan, I am grateful to the people who worked so hard on the three films until the day I die. And yes, I am being extremely dramatic.


The story of Jesse and Celine is fairly simple. In the first film in 1995, they met on a train and fell in love with each other after spending a day together in Vienna. They promised to meet each other again in 6 months though the meeting never happen. In the second film set in 2004, they met again in Paris, doing the same thing as they did in Vienna – talking and catching up with each other.

No huge drama. No huge events. No world problems of humanity and the likes. Just conversations that somehow turned into a life-changing event for the both of them.

The film ended in a mysterious note – Jesse stayed in Celine’s room, both of them looking at each other as she danced to a Nina Simone song and him resting on the couch. Fast-forward 9 years later, in this film, Before Midnight, they actually decided to be together – Jesse divorced her wife in New York and moved to stay with Celine – and had a pair of twin daughters.

ImageBefore Midnight is the aftermath of the romantic tale. The aftermath of a happy ending. What exactly happens after the pursuit for the love of your life ends? How do you stay passionate in a relationship where you actually have to face the love of your life every single fucking day, being exposed constantly to his or her weaknesses, craziness and tons of insecurities? Would you, as a partner, be okay with that? I know I wouldn’t. That is why I was so nervous as I was about to watch the film.

What’s going to happen? Now that they are together with kids, the story could only develop to the point where they have to be un-togethered. Since the idea is about the challenges of being in a permanent relationship, it has to be very negative. I don’t want to see them in a negative side. However, for the past years since I’ve last watch Before Sunrise and Before Sunset, my heart has been leaping with joy the moment I knew that the premise of the third film is that they are together. Like, finally people! It should have happened a fucking decade ago!!

Crazy would be the perfect expression to describe the emotions I felt throughout the film. The plot and the scenes are very minimalistic (they consisted of them talking to each other, mostly, having dinner, interactions and more interactions and tons of expressions of opinions and thank God, one scene of graphic foreplay!). Thus, us audiences are allowed to focus more on the characters in the film itself – Jesse and Celine – and their struggles. The messed-up parts of their individual traits get the spotlights easily in a simple story. I feel for them, I was absorbed in how their interactions with each other grew into love and how, in this third film, the love seemed to fall apart. (Did it? Did it not?) They are so cute together but at the same time, their severe clashes of opinions drive me crazy! Why can’t they agree on one single thing? There are disagreements, unhappiness and past conflicts they could not let go.

I feared for their love and I am not even joking. If Before Midnight ended with them not being together, I’m not sure how I shall believe in humanity ever again. *being dramatic, again*

The films share one common thing – despite their differences – Jesse being the more laid-back literary guy and Celine the neurotic strongly-opinionated woman, they love each other so much and their chemistry together is just phenomenal. Despite the clashes, it is undeniable that Jesse and Celine love being in each other’s company and talking to each other, expressing their feelings. That is what make the films so special – the dialogues between them. And that is what makes Jesse and Celine very real to us. They are not just the characters in the film – they ARE the film. The stories revolve around their lives. As if the trilogy is a documentary.

Perhaps, that is why for us fans, Jesse and Celine are real. We know that they are not, duhh, but we’d like to think that they are.

How can two simple characters consume the screen so passionately? They were not having sex or whatever. They were walking to their hotel room, talking to each other, sometimes arguing, most of the time listening and reacting yet it made me feel, as the audience, that they are meant to be with each other. The way the characters communicate with one another makes me to want them to never separate. Fuck the world, fuck everything else. Jesse and Celine belongs together! *CRIES* or else there is no salvation to humanity!

I know I’m over-dramatic but this trilogy just gets to me so hard, I am not able to enjoy a romantic film as much as I enjoy watching them.

Love these films, please. I beg you. Because if you don’t enjoy watching Jesse and Celine together, that means you are just a cold-hearted emotionless bastard. This is not love of the Cinderella-type. FYI, there is no such thing. Wake up. Love rarely exists. Chances are we are going to die without ever experiencing love. We are an ugly lot, many of us, and our lives are going to be very romantically miserable.

My advice? Go see these films, for they are the closest you can ever get to love and passion.


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