'Before Sunrise' Review: It's Not What You Think
Our next entry in the Staff Writer's Top 5 is the 1995 romantic drama, Before Sunrise. I don't watch a lot of rom-drams, actually that generalization is probably closer to a hard zero. Before Sunrise is probably the first rom-dram I have ever seen. However, this film stars Ethan Hawke; an actor that we're very fond of here at Kulture Shocked. He's extraordinarily talented and doesn't receive nearly as much credit as he deserves.
Before Sunrise is very minimalist. The plot is very direct and covers Jesse, played by Hawke,and Celine, played by Julie Deply, and the one night they spend together. The primary catalyst for the plot is their limited time together. That realization is always on their minds, and leads to them revealing more about themselves than they normally would, since both believe they will never see one another again.
Before Sunrise hinges on themes of self-fulfillment and self-discovery, empowering the film through the introduction of a twelve-hour time constraint where the goals implicit to these two themes have to be realized. They are underlined by the poem "Delusion Angel", which evokes a longing for complete and unifying, possibly even redeeming, understanding between two partners, Jesse and Celine in this instance, in a world which in itself is unknowable, and over which an individual has no control.
This is a rare and underrated masterpiece of cinema. Beautifully shot, visceral & human performances from Hawke and Deply, and thought provoking concepts. As someone who usually detests romantic elements in film. This was fantastic. It has a rare 100% from Rotten Tomatoes, and I'd like to leave you with the critic consensus from there.
Go ahead and give this one a watch. I don't think you'll be disappointed.
Final Say: Watch It