Last year, I watched for the first time Before Sunrise (1995), an interesting, intimate film by Richard Linklater from the 90’s. A lot of talking, mind you, but I was amazed by how intimate and real the film was. A simple film about two people without manufactured melodrama, a contrived plot, or what I would describe as a Hollywood ending. Starring only Ethan Hawks and Julie Delpy, I thought it was a really good film, but you wanted to know what happened next.
Nine years later (in 2004), Linklater, Delpy, and Hawke, reunited to jointly write the screenplay and put together a sequel, Before Sunset (2004). And I have to say that I liked this film better than the original. Taking place nine years later, much like the actual film, Hawke and Delpy are older and more mature, and they meet by happenstance in Paris. They spend a brief afternoon walking the streets of Paris trying to catch up. You learn about the truth of the past nine years for both of them. These two are nine years older, but you can still feel the love, the attraction, the connection. You can see that longing for each other, and for that happiness steaming from that one night in Vienna, right behind their eyes when they look at each other.
I liked that. That earnestness of it all. Life is not this carefree love affair. It is real and immediate. And they had lost each other for nine years. And all of a sudden, they were back in each other’s lives again. For that brief afternoon, what would happen?