Before Midnight was the end of a rather cool journey into a very interesting storytelling idea, and filmmaking one for that matter. One in which three films are made 9 years apart, so that not only are the filmmakers behind it getting older and having difference voices and stories they wish to tell, but the characters on the screen also lived those 9 year gaps. This very unique style helped create an over arching storyline that was able to go places other films aren’t able to, and just as uniquely allowed the filmmakers to create something just so damn cool.
Looking at them as separate films though can be a different story, as you really should do that, though that’s sometime almost impossible. Just like with the Lord Of The Rings films, even if you have your favourite out of the bunch, you still need to see all three as part of just one big film. Yes, you should see these three Before films as one big story, and I suggest watching them all back to back if you can, but, this is a review for Before Midnight, and I would be remiss if I didn’t review it as both a standalone film and as part of this great trilogy.
Like the first two films, this is a talkie, though it had more in common with the first film in the sense it changed locations often and felt like it took place over time, as in half a day, whereas the second film took place in real time over 80 minutes, and the first over what I can only assume was 24 hours. Though time aside, out of the three, this film stands out as the most different, as where the other two were all about the two characters falling in love, with only a hint of trouble near the end of the second, this one was all about how can this couple now make what they have last.
In fact when this film started to hit the drama, which the first didn’t really have any of, and the second only a small burst of it near the end, whereas this one had a whole lot at about the two thirds mark, and when it hit, it hit hard. Maybe not as hard as some viewers might think if they hadn’t seen the first two films, but if you had, not only is your heart breaking at possibly recognising your own relationships in these two, but it breaks knowing how far they have come in the 18 years than span these three films.
Though I must say, that despite at how awesome the writing, acting, and directing was on the film, I couldn’t help but start to dislike Julie Delpy’s character. Now, it could be because I’m a male and connect more with Ethan Hawke’s character, or maybe I saw too much of her flaws as reminders of past relationships of mine, but either way it did bug me a bit. At the end of the day though, I guess, that’s what makes this series so damn good, as it feels so real and authentic and that means loving and hating things in equal measures and at the same times.
To sum up, I loved this film, and loved this series, and I think it should be watched far and wide by everyone, from people newly in love to those who have decades under their belts. The story arch and situations they find themselves in I think will undoubtedly impart much knowledge, head nods of recognition, and hopefully solidarity that relationships are hard, and awesome at the same time, and that what you’re going through might just be what others are going through at the same and are still as strong and wonderful despite the hardships.
8.5 out of 10 from me!!!