Richard Linklater’s Before Sunrise/Before Sunset


Before Sunrise (1995) and Before Sunset (2005) are two films but in order to be fully appreciated, they have to be seen together. It is a surreal and very profound experience.

Both of them were directed by one of my favourite directors, Richard Linklater (Waking Life, Dazed and Confused, A Scanner Darkly, School of Rock and the relatively unknown Tape). The screen play for the first movie was written by Kim Krizan and Linklater and the latter flick was penned by Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy and Linklater.


 I believe if there’s any kind of God it wouldn’t be in any of us, not you or me but just this little space in between. If there’s any kind of magic in this world it must be in the attempt of understanding someone sharing something. I know, it’s almost impossible to succeed but who cares really? The answer must be in the attempt.

Two strangers in their early twenties, Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy) meet on a train and immediately connect through conversations that range from the metaphysical to the abstract. They realise that there exists a connection and decide to explore it further. Jesse has to catch a plane to the US on the next day from Vienna and he asks her (who was on her way to Paris) to get down with him at Vienna. She agrees but not without a little hesitation. They realise that their time is limited and so decide to make the most of it. Slowly, as they begin to converse, an undeniable attraction between the two grows but none of the two spoil anyting by calling it love or any such thing.

A film like this does not depend on the way it’s shot; it lies entirely in the hands of the actors and the writer. All of them do a marvellous job and the result is nothing short of spectacular!

The writing is simply amazing. The conversations are beautiful and the movie makes you believe that the finest form of seduction is conversation. The characters perfectly portray the sense of hope that accompanies individuals about to take on life. 

The landscape and architecture of Vienna accentuate the beauty of the writing. An amazing piece of film making.



Richard Linklater, 10 years later decides to experiment with the same characters again and the result is no less profound!

In the ten years since their one night in Vienna, Jesse has been married and has a son and Celine works for an environmental organization in France. Jesse has written a book detailing and slightly romanticizing their night and is on a book tour in France where he meets Celine again.

After a few minutes of awkward conversation, they become more at ease and discover that long lost connection and begin talking about where life has taken them in the past 10 years. They begin conversing about their regrets, their successes, failures and about growing older. The writing is as stirringly beautiful and poignant as the prequel (even got nominated for an Oscar) and you really believe that these two characters were the same ones you’ve seen before and more importantly, you believe in their connection.

This time, they are in Paris and the surroundings amplify the emotional maturity of the two characters. Beautifully scored and shot!


I’d fallen so much in love with the movies that I even own the two screenplays. I admit, mushy stuff isn’t really my thing but Richard Linklater has created something no movie about couples has ever been. A must watch if you’re the kind of person who thrives on conversations.


18 Responses to “Richard Linklater’s Before Sunrise/Before Sunset”

  1. 1 soorajrox

    10/10???hmmm……..i saw the sunset one…when u’r in the mood,great

  2. 2 soorajrox

    btw great pics…the wedding pics…

  3. hmm .. u make me curious abt the movie

  4. @sooraj I don’t know about the mood and all…but these 2 films really make me like life all over again! Not surprising considering you know how talkative I can get when the topic is interesting enough! 😛

    @swen Well…I have both of them…you could have watched em back in college you ass! 🙂

  5. @Punns
    well in college u werent so expressive abt this movie. biaatch

  6. 6 bApHoMEt

    i saw Before Sunrise in the 11th on Star Movies and Before Sunset quite recently. there is something deeply romantic about meeting a stranger while travelling. i stare at all these girls at the airport and hope they’d give me a second look, but nay, we’re too third world for the white chics.

    thats why i loved the film- it gives you hope. hehehe.

    seriously, you’re right about the writing. But i kinda got the feeling that most of it was spontaneous. there would be no way a film like this can be written down unless it was cooked up during rehearsal. the two actors do have a very strong chemistry and hey, this is what could’ve happened if they really met accidentally in real life.

  7. @Baphomet Every time i’m in a book store or movie store, I hope some pretty girl wll come over and start a conversationbut so far, no such luck. I prefer hunting close to home. Does make me sound a little desperate though…

    Anyhoo, I’ve heard that for the second flick, the cast and director just got together and started talking and came up with the screenplay! spontaneous it is!

  8. Die beide sind so toll. Ich freu mich darauf,dass die beide so gut direktet sind. Ok so I love the both movies. I travelled the same way with train to make the same kind of story in my life……..

  9. @Deep
    Warum hast du das in deutsch gesagt? Prestidigitator spricht kein deutsch.

  10. @daedalus Ich benötige einen übersetzer

  11. 11 soorajrox

    Bedeutetest du „mich hast einen übersetzer“

  12. 12 Joe Kulangara

    @everyone: Tu best un grosse swine. (did i get that right?)

  13. du gewinnst Joe!

  14. 14 Joe Kulangara

    @prestidigitator: u know german?

  15. C’mon dude! Google Translator!

  16. 16 Joe Kulangara

    Dankt Bruder. Jetzt kann ich Swen täuschen.

  17. 17 Joe Kulangara

    Oh wait. He can read that post. (note to self: think before you act)

  18. 18 kavitha

    i’ve watched before sunrise….infact didnt know it had a sequel at all until some time ago….and…am pretty much waiting to watch it….before sunrise is so beautiful that i cant get over the movie!!!
    its one of a kind that u might wish “sigh…i wish that happened to me”….
    so….it leave that kind of aura….

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