Before Sunrise, Sunset and Midnight

If you are wondering what is this topic about, you are not a movie buff.

Neither am I, for that matter.

But, I had the opportunity to see this movie series by Director Richard Linklater over this Chinese New Year holidays (Thursday/Friday of this week). I saw the series in reverse order, and more about that experience later in this post.

The two main actors are Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy; and these two same actors act in Before Sunrise (1995), Before Sunset (2004) and Before Midnight (2013) – the same two actors who grow up from their early twenties to early forties in the last movie. Amazing trilogy of great movies, I really like all of them, but the best is the final one – Before Midnight. May be it syncs with my analysis of grown up adults !

The thing I like about Linklater’s movies – especially these three – are the dialogues. These movies are not for the action adventure types. Slow moving, with heavy focus on dialogues, very much like normal lives, flow through these classic modern adaptations of everyday life. It is actually not easy to see the emotions and affinity between the two characters except on occasional gestures or looks (when they look at each other for a fairly long time, like more than 8 seconds). You can however sense the bond between the two actors and a sort of developing chemistry all through the three movies, even when they fight in the third movie. You can only fight when you are close to someone, isn’t that right ?

I enjoyed every moment of seeing these three movies, and I would strongly recommend the same to all adults – especially the ones who are having difficulties in establishing and nurturing relationships. Relationships with intelligent and sensitive folks are indeed difficult, no doubt about that. Slow development, consistent nurturing, caring for each other, and listening to each other are fundamental building blocks of relationships and all these are all the more important in Western societies where estrangement comes easy.

Perfect strangers developing a bond and then building upon it brick by brick by sometimes intellectual dialogues and then appealing to emotions – this describes the movies mentioned here. The movies are great stuff, and I am amazed that I did not know about these movies till a search produced some recommended movies and then I took effort to first see the latest 2013 movie – I was so impressed that I followed up with the previous one of 1994 and then the one before that in 1995.

Worth seeing these movies and learning from them. Possibly you could achieve a better understanding of human beings and marriage.


Vijay Srinivasan

20th February 2015


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