Before Midnight

Before Midnight ★★★★★

97

Time-Travel love; a film where comparisons lead to critiques and specificity in a larger wild-goose chase towards enlightenment of a broader scale. Linklater, in the middle section of the film, explores a group dynamic of various ages and stages to re-contextualize Jesse and Celine as individuals who, instead of growing to understand each other, constantly box their relationship into defining attributes of 'love' in order to satisfy their existentialist, egotistical personalities. Before Midnight has the couple blabbering about where they've been and where they're going, but it's always a stepping stone for a more indistinct, incalculable search, and the struggle of this final (and practically flawless) chapter is one of learning to reconnect to the unknowing, natural state of their romance in Sunrise, and if such a rekindling is even possible. Final five minutes feel like Linklater's final statement on the liquid-mercury essence of Time's nebulousness, and how it drips right off the skin in immaterial elegance, preserving its mystery even as it makes itself known in day-to-day pleasures, pains, routines. That last line is a confounding one: let's go take a walk and talk about it.

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