Before Midnight

Before Midnight

Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, and Before Midnight are science experiments. Richard Linklater puts two "subjects", Celine and Jessie, in three identical settings and circumstances: A lovely European town, where all they do is talk. This is a constant throughout the series, and also essential for a science experiment. The only variables are the unseen 9 years before each movie. Linklater develops a narrative illusion where the viewer sees these people as they are at the end of the last movie, but they are really vastly different. The experiment part comes in when they just talk freely with each other. And, through one short time of connecting, the two "subjects" have evolved so vastly, it is incredible. However, it is entirely believable due to the free-spirited nature of Delpy's and Hawke's improvisational dialogue. All of this culminates into a collection of stories, both in movies and in Jessie's books, where one magical day alters the course of these characters lives forever. This is only exemplified in the first two movies, however. Before Midnight isn't about changing, it is about keeping them as they were at the end of the first two movies. This is why they joke about having a time machine, they want things to go back to how they were. This is a very simple, and I might say, overdone aspect of romantic movies. On the contrary, in Before Midnight, it completely works, because we have seen their past, in the present. In most bad romantic movies, we see the couple past as a lazy flashback, and there is no magic in it. Linklater took a chance with a love epic, and created a miracle.

In Before Sunrise, one couple's fight leads to a birth of a beautiful relationship, and in Before Midnight, one couple's fight leads to the rebirth of that same beautiful relationship.

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