Puja Miri Yajnik
‘Before Sunrise’ is a 1995 romantic drama film, directed by Richard Linklater and written by Kim Krizan. It is produced by Anne Walker-McBay and stars Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke.
The film is set in Europe and begins on a train to Vienna. A pretty French girl named Céline (Delpy) meets an attractive and talkative tourist named Jesse (Hawke). The strangers begin talking and as the train speeds on they are irresistibly drawn towards each other. Delpy and Hawke are brilliant as the protagonists, who feel this strong connection to a stranger. The storytelling here is very skilful, and the audience is never bored despite the fact that most of the film has to do with conversations rather than action. An interesting trivia is that Linklater was inspired by a true-life experience he himself had. Also he apparently spent nine months casting for the film. Here, I’d like to mention again that the artists’s performances are all the more important as the story develops and grows on the audience gradually, without any melodrama.
Both Delpy and Hawke convey their emotions excellently through facial expressions and body language. The bond between the two strangers, a little ethereal to my mind, develops beautifully and seamlessly. They talk about everything under the sun: their thoughts, experiences and plans in general. It is when the station of Vienna approaches that Jesse asks Céline to get off with him and spend the day. I thought this moment was beautifully performed and one could see the hesitation as thoughts cross the minds of both the characters as one asks and the other responds. He persuades her: “what harm can come of it?” If she finds him a ‘psycho’, she can hop onto the next train and simply leave, but if they lose this moment, they will both regret it forever. Of course, she gets off the train with him. As they walk about the beautiful city of Vienna, they get to know more about themselves whilst falling in love with each other. Perfect for the idealist romantics. In fact, it is one of my favourite films.
A softly made film; a story told in a very simple and honest way in the hardest way possible, through conversation. A must-watch for all the romantics out there. In fact, worth a repeat even if you have already seen it.
Disclaimer: The above review solely illustrates the views of the writer.