Customer Review

26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For Those Who Think From Dawn to Dusk, 16 Feb 2006
This review is from: Before Sunrise / Before Sunset [DVD] (DVD)
These two movies are simply a treat. Each holds their own. Each is a masterclass in dialogue. No violence, no profanity, no sex. Instead, we’re given intelligent writing and believable characters whom we care about. The first half (Before Sunrise) deals with two early-twenty-somethings who meet on a train and spend 24 hours together -- doing what early-twenty-somethings do when they're keen -- finding out all they can about each other (subtly at times), and attempting to impress each other (with a quiet cleverness, of course). By-products of this underlying mission are conversations on life, the universe, cultural traps (the ugly American and the sophisticated European) and just about everything else that two people who are mental and spiritual soulmates can find to talk about. You, the viewer, are the eavesdropper, and it is a privilege. It is written in a way that feels inclusive because the characters are real and their situation is real and the viewer can relate. The theme is universal. Our desire to connect, to see the world and to interpret life from a shared understanding that does not need ground rules or explanation or even acknowledgment. It is just there. Nine years later they meet up again (Before Sunset). This time it is for 77 minutes (real time). Roles have reversed somewhat (I found). The cynic is less of one, the shyer more naïve of the two has taken on the more cynical role. Nothing is overt. Nothing is over-the-top. The intelligence of both movies is in their subtlety. There are intriguing coincidences and references but all are delicately presented -- a bit of the unbearable lightness of being. The no-wasted-word dialogue covers a vast amount of territory but somehow retains a casual, realistic effect. Each film could be viewed on its own, but together they make for a powerful, intense film experience – for those who like to think and reflect and be entertained at the same time.
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