RogerBW's Blog

Before Sunrise 21 February 2023

1995 romantic drama, dir. Richard Linklater, Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy; IMDb / allmovie. Two people meet on a train, and decide to spend the night exploring Vienna.

The plot is minimal; in many romantic comedies, the vast majority of the film would be condensed into a montage of "couple are getting to know each other". It's all deliberately mundane stuff, with witty lines but not beyond what's plausible for the characters – at the "what I thought of five minutes later and wish I'd said" level, rather than "what a screenwriter slaved over for months".

These people are attractive, and interesting; the acting is good; there's essentially no plot driver, so instead we passively observe the events. Know this going in, because that's what the film is about.

There are undertones too: both of the principals have gone into this venture on the basis that they're strangers who will never meet again, and it's only at the last moment that they realise that, after all, that isn't their only option. As a stand-alone film it's still much more of a slice of life than what I usually think of as a narrative. But it has a charm that won me over.

Once more if you want more of my witterings you should listen to Ribbon of Memes.

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Tags: film reviews

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