Before Midnight

Before Midnight ★★★★½

Surfacing nine years after the release of Before Sunset, Before Midnight is hopefully the final time we journey into the lives of Jesse & Céline and just like the previous two chapters, it's an endearing cinematic experience that lives up to the series' legacy, thus bringing Linklater's Before Trilogy to a magnificent & immensely satisfying conclusion. In almost all departments of filmmaking, the final chapter is as freshly envisioned, smartly scripted, honestly performed & wonderfully narrated as the last two and in few aspects, manages to surpass them as well.

The direction by Richard Linklater is top-notch once again as he makes this story (which shares a relatively similar structure with its predecessors) work extremely well with a rare distinction of no loss in its originality & freshness. The script explores the myriad complications of long-term commitments while also covering problems that generally troubles people in their midlife; problems like marriage woes, career crisis, depleting sex life, increasing boredom, adultery, past regrets or fights & arguments over petty things. And the lush cinematography, tight editing & wonderful music end up infusing flavours of its own into this already impressive storyline.

Also, just like the last two times, both Ethan Hawke & Julie Delpy have given a truly mesmerizing, multi-layered & intensely emotional performance as one of cinema's favourite couples & are at their absolute best in the film's final act, in my opinion. On an overall scale, Before Midnight is an intelligent, absorbing, honest, witty & incredibly entertaining cinema which in the end was truly worth the 9 years wait, is one of the best films of 2013, is one of the best sequels of all time and along with Before Sunrise & Before Sunset, makes up for one of cinema's greatest motion picture trilogies. Thoroughly recommended.

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