Almost a decade later, a sequel followed, entitled 'Before Sunset.'
We catch up with Jesse (Hawke) and Celine (Delpy) nine years after their encounter in Vienna. Jesse has written a bestselling book about that fateful night and is in Paris on his book tour. The reading has caught the attention of Celine who is in the audience. The two catch up and walk around Paris reminiscing, and updating each other about their lives. Jesse has to catch a flight that evening, so their time together is limited.
Will these two be able to get some much needed closure in the span of about 80 minutes?
These two characters have been apart for nine years just like the theatrical audiences. This feels like a reunion which it is for everyone involved. Nostalgia carries the day as both the characters and the audience are reminded of the past and caught up on the present. You had to have enjoyed the first film to even remotely care about this one.
This film takes place in real-time and there are numerous extremely long takes which is impressive from a technical standpoint. Much like the first film, this is really one long conversation that we, the audience, are privy to. There is even less outside stimuli and fewer external people chiming in....outside of the brief author interview at the start. We also spend a little less time marveling at the city this time around. The subtle romance is even more understated this time.
As such, the film is more like 75 minutes which is the bare minimum for a feature length. There isn't a wasted moment even though it still manages to be leisurely-paced. If it had been any longer, the power would have been seriously diluted, but less is more.
Hawke and Delpy had these roles down pat the first time around and feel even more at ease this time around, partly because they had a hand in writing the script. Rarely do you feel as though two actors inhabit roles like these two.
Special features include: a look on the set and a trailer.
'Before Sunset' answers the question of whatever happened to Jesse and Celine. Maybe there was something nice about the viewer being able to answer for themselves whether or not their paths crossed again. If their story needed to be continued, it was continued well.
Rated R 80 minutes 2004