When I went to watch Before Sunset, it was because it was the second film in a trilogy, with the other two films, Before Sunrise and Before Midnight, ranking on the IMDB top 250 list which I’m currently making my way through. Though with this film not making that list, even if only by a fraction, does make you wonder if there’s a reason why it’s seen as the weakest of the three. But you do try and put those thoughts outside your head when you sit down to watch a film.
Even with those thoughts in my head, it wasn’t exactly negative ones that were in the forefront, as the first film in the series was damn good, and left me really wanting to know what happened next. So if this film was almost as good as the other two, then I had nothing to fear, and even the fact there was a third film in the series raised the stakes in the interest I had in continuing this story.
Like the first film, this was very talky, and amazingly it was even more so than the first, and an added twist was that this film was told in real time, as the 80 minutes of the movies length was exactly the time the characters had on screen together. So even though not much happened in the first film, there were still time jumps between locations, but in this one nothing really did happen, as every location was either walked to, driven to, and even a boat ride was thrown in for good measure, while the whole time the characters talked to each other.
As this film picks up the story 9 years later, you quickly learn exactly what happened after the first film ended on somewhat of a cliff-hanger, but like I said in the review for that film; it was a good cliff-hanger that left you making up your own mind what happened. But, once a sequel is released, all those ideas are thrown out the door as the ‘actual’ story of what happened is told to you.
It was pretty awesome seeing this story unfold once more, but I must say that the fact I knew there was going to be a third film in the story, that also took place 9 years later, meant I did watch this film with slightly different lenses than I would have if I didn’t know that. And if I thought the first film ended on a cliff-hanger, wait till you see this one! But, to be fair, it was once again a good one, as it left you once again to work out what happened next.
Luckily for me I didn’t have to wait 9 years for the next film to come out, and if I did have to wait that long, I may have had very different feelings at the end of it. But what my feelings were was that it was a damn good film, and once again a sign of what romance films should be like. There are far too many cases of angst ridden love triangle romance films in the mass audience mindset these days, and seeing something as real and genuine as this leaves me with warm fuzzies inside.
8 out of 10 from me!!!