Simplicity is beauty as we hear often. And there are two movies that would fit perfectly with that adage: Before Sunrise and Before Sunset. Both of the movies is about the special relationship of a man and a woman who are complete strangers but got along very well and somehow fell in love with each other. It is not love at first sight, because that is not always true, but the development of attraction by looking at each other’s insights and thoughts about everything.
Before Sunrise is a 1995 movie starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, except for minor characters they are the only ones you would see on screen. The movie revolves around how their characters: Jessie and Celine spent the night together in Vienna. It all started with a train ride, the two main characters are aboard a train heading for Vienna, and they struck up a conversation after overhearing a German couple arguing. The two strangers then decided to go to Vienna for the night and roam the city. The movie is mostly composed of conversations between the two about almost everything under the sun, and about their take on life in general, and their personal experiences. While roaming the city and picking on each other’s minds Jessie and Celine developed an attraction and eventually made love before they part, before sunrise. They promised to see each other after six months and headed their own ways.
After nine years, the follow up movie Before Sunset came. The movie also happens nine years after the parting of the two main protagonists. What’s remarkable about this movie is that the story unfolds in real time. Jessie is now a successful writer who visits Paris to launch his book which is about his encounter with Celine. Celine who now lives in Paris is working for an environmental agency. Like the first movie, Before Sunset also revolves around Jessie and Celine, their views in life, what happened since the last time they’ve seen each other, and their quasi-relationship. They didn’t get to meet on their agreed rendezvous which is six months after they parted in the first movie. They both took their own directions and lived each life separately. The good thing is that after nine years you can still sense that there’s still going on between the two of them.
The real beauty in the two films, or both halves of one film in my opinion, is that they didn’t bank on massive special effects or mind boggling twists, it is simplicity in its finest working to create a genius work of art.