"Still there. Still there. Still there. It's gone."

26 June 2013

Alternately titled: I want that, you know?

The most anticipated third part of the lowest grossing film trilogy of all time (Ethan Hawke's words, not mine!), Before Midnight, will be released in the Philippines on July 10 but thanks to Echo Channels I got to watch it with my girl friends at a special screening last night.

Transpiring a few years after Before Sunset's ambiguous ending, we find Jesse and Celine finally together, now with twin girls Nina and Ella (whose names were inspired by Nina Simone and Ella Fitzgerald). With Greece serving as their backdrop this time, we witness the two do what they do best - talk. This time, other people were added into the mix for a few sequences resulting to a percolation of different ideas about life and love coming from different points of view.

I read somewhere that people do not really change; circumstances or chance may force you to change a little but ultimately you stay the way you are. Same with the film. Now, although a little bit jaded, Jesse is still the same toughie-but-softy and funny guy introduced to us in Before Sunrise while Celine still has the same neuroses, maybe aggravated even more by the stress of having to juggle work and taking care of their family.

So very finely crafted, raw, powerful, and emotional without being cheesy, Before Midnight shows the different facets of being in a relationship and demonstrates that it is not smooth-sailing all the time. It can also be exasperating and it can be frustrating. Aside from love - What is love anyway than a chemical reaction in the brain? Said bitter people everywhere - a relationship requires passion, commitment, a certain level of maturity, and conversations. Not just superficial conversations, mind you. I'm talking about conversations between two people who share a deep connection. I want that, you know? It is an ode to the power of words and how they can heal or hurt, and you know I am a big lover of words so I held my breath almost the entire movie. It actually reminded me of what I felt when I heard The Cranberries sing Linger live... it left me breathless and completely awestruck. So beautiful it hurts. I couldn't stop hugging my friends after we left the cinema.

For me, Before Midnight is the best among the three. I didn't think it would be possible to love the series even more than I already do but apparently it is! To quote one of my previous posts, "I can go on and on with all these hyperboles about how I loved these movies but that will just sound reductive and redundant. And so to put it as eloquently and accurately as much as I can, I guess I'll just say, 'I wish I wrote it.' - and that, for me, is the highest compliment one can give any piece of written work." God I wish I wrote them. This trilogy is one of cinema's greatest love stories and I recommend that you take the time to watch them all if you haven't yet. Better begin from the start since the third is peppered with a lot of inside jokes and little nods to the first two movies that you will miss if you haven't seen them.

One of the lines that struck me the most is about how we are all just passing through life. Dear Richard Linklater, Kim Krizan, Ethan Hawke, and Julie Delpy, thank you. I am grateful to have been able to pass through life at the same time as these movies were made and released. Please keep on making beautiful films.


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