Before Sunset is NOT just a Love Story.



Jesse, a writer from the US, and Celine, a Frenchwoman working for an environment protection organization, acquainted nine years ago on the train from Budapest to Vienna, meet again when Jesse arrives in Paris for a reading of his new book. As they have only a few hours until his plane leaves, they stroll through Paris, talking about their experiences, views and whether they still love each other, although Jesse is already married with a kid.


As ever, BEFORE SUNSET is a very thought provoking indie film. And as stated in the plot summary, you might think that it’s a love story. But its more than that, it’s a story that talks a lot of issues especially about life in general, like the little things or the bigger ones that really matters at all. You know, the whole notions about love, friendship, marriage, finding happiness, the many issues of the world, and a whole lot more.

At the start of the movie, you would tend to observe the flow of Jesse and Celine’s conversations in the film; you will notice that it started as a small talk of catching up about their lives for the last 9 years. Then it was that scene at the coffee shop, their topics were about life itself; like how our society thinks and act actually affects the world in general. Then moving forward at the park scene, where they were asking one another some hypothetical questions about their future, and some ideas of how they perceive things. But for me, my favorite scenes would be the one where they were riding the boat cruising around river Seine, and the car ride back to Celine’s place. It’s because it’s where they have finally talked about their real issues. Finally being honest towards each other of what it might have been if fate didn’t played games with them 9 years ago; that if only that they’ve meet again 6 months later after that wonderful night in Vienna. But as to what Celine have said “The past is that past. And it is meant to be that way”. I mean how funny it is that they’ve only meet twice, but it’s as if they’ve known each other for so long. You know that connection that really pulled them together is just simply fascinating. When they’ve first meet, they were just two young adults looking forward to their futures. And then suddenly, after so long they’ve reconnected again. But this time around, they are in a way more mature on how they’ve handled things. For the years have made them appreciate of what really matters in life; but the downside to it is that who they were during those short moments in Vienna have been locked for almost a decade. And that it was finding one another have been the key to unlock the real passions that they’ve kept inside the box. And when they did, that’s where the real questions comes in

“What now?”
“What are we going to do about it?”
“Should we go on where we left of?”

If you want to know, then you’ll have to see the film so that you can find the answers there; for it is something that I will never tell. For it’s either such answers were finally implied, or not at all. Who knows.


To refresh my memory, I think it was back then in high school where I’ve first seen this movie. I was reading an article about the story, and I was so intrigued. Talk about a film that was shot in Paris, and a story about these two people seeing each other after 9 years, and then have finally realized that they are still into one another. I guess that was my purpose of watching this film back then; just to get into the whole idea about “Unforgettable Love”. So when I’ve finally got the chance to see the movie, that’s when I’ve realized that it only has two characters! And all they did was just talk and talk. Which made me kinda bored, but I still enjoyed it because of the beautiful views that were shot as they both walk along and explore Paris.

Then recently, a close friend of mine just saw this movie. And she keeps on telling me how beautiful it is. She said that it was kinda boring at first, but eventually when she has finally reached that scene at the coffee shop. She was totally fascinated about the flow of the conversations. Not that sort of romantic dialogues. For these two people were talking about interesting topics; ideas that most people rarely talk about. A casual talk, but something intelligent, and makes us viewers think about it thoroughly.


So I’ve decided to watch this again. I must say, watching this for the third time really made me appreciate this movie in a much different way, and it has also given me a whole new perspective. For this time around, my main focus when I was watching this was to get into the deeper thoughts of their lines, or conversations. Taking notes in each and every single thing that they keep on saying towards each other. And it really made me think about it; asking myself mind-boggling things that I’ve never wondered before.

Moreover, I’ve felt more compelled to reflect on how I see things around me. I know that I’m just an ordinary person who wants to lead a wonderful life. And I’ve always have these notions that a person should always put such “Authenticity” in everything that he or she does no matter how big or small that is. For I believe that each and every one of us are born unique; that we should not be afraid to distinguish ourselves from the others based on how we see, and think about life. For it will also mean that you know who you really are both inside and out. So even if the world or one’s society will evolve around you, you will always hold on into the idea of knowing what you really want in life based on your principles.

And that’s what I like this about movie. It really makes you think and ask so many questions. Especially now that I’m already in my mid twenties, this is one those moments in my life in where I should know where I’m going, and should also know where I stand. I know that I’ve achieved, and attained so many things, and have experienced so many ups and downs. Plus, I still have a long way to go. And for that I will always be grateful. But sometimes I wonder of what the future brings. Of course, I already have some notions of what I wanted to do. But life is so full of surprises. And that sometimes fate can be a bit tricky. So as much as possible I try to keep things in a balance. And just to go with the flow of where my destiny leads me to. To hope and pray to God that it’s for the best.

I would also really like to say thank you so much to my Ate Donnah for inspiring me to watch this again; for it really made me appreciate this kind of film now more than ever.

And lastly, here my favorite lines for the movie:

“The world might be evolving that way a person evolves.”

“I like getting older. I don’t know, it feels more immediate. Like I can appreciate things more.”

“I see people that come into it with big idealist visions of becoming the leader that will create a better world. They enjoy the GOAL, but not the PROCESS. But the reality of it is the true work of improving things is in the little achievements of the day. And that’s what you need to enjoy.”

“Memory is a wonderful thing if you don’t have to deal with the past.”


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