Before Midnight


Love isn’t all sunshine and roses.

FILM: There are different phases in a relationship. And, many will concur, much transpires between the wooing stage and marriage.

Director Richard Linklater has done a commendable job in exploring the changes with his delightfully charming protagonists: novelist Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Céline (Julie Delpy).

While Before Sunrise and Before Sunset dwelled on their electrifying attraction with those chance meetings, where time was, sadly, always a factor, the last movie in the trilogy, Before Midnight, picks up nine years later.

Now in their 40s, Jesse and Céline are married with two girls and they spend their summer holiday in Greece with Jesse’s son joining them briefly.

The story starts with Jesse dropping off his son at the airport, which triggers some intense feelings of guilt for him.

On their drive back, the couple chat about him not being there for his son as much as he would like and about his strained relation- ship with his ex-wife. While the conversation is permeated by contrasting bouts of playfulness and seriousness, their love and congeniality as a couple is also magnified.

But as they spend the rest of the summer with Jesse’s author friend and his extended family, the couple are forced to confront several issues in their marriage.

The situation becomes tenuous on a night when they are supposed to be on a romantic escape. A minor disagreement snowballs into a huge fight as both of them address suppressed issues pertaining to their careers, their family and how insipidly routine their lives have become.

Hawke and Delpy are mesmer- ising to watch as a couple. Whether they are fighting or taking a long stroll and reminiscing about the past, viewers can’t help but identify with them.

And the picturesque setting and adroit direction leaves viewers completely enamoured with this romantic drama.

SPECIAL FEATURES: None. – Debashine Thangevelo