Movie Review: Before Midnight

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By Samantha Alzate, staff writer

Before Midnight, set nine years after the adventures in Before Sunset, further develops the characters, Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy), and their passionate relationship.

The movie opens with a scene at the Greek Peloponnesian airport, where Jesse departs with his son, Hank (Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick). Hank has spent the summer in Greece, as a result of Jesse’s writing career. Seeing his son fly back to Chicago to unleashes a set of new emotions. Jesse has missed the important years in his son’s life, since Hank lives with his mother. Jesse lives on the other side of the world, in Paris, France, with his wife, Celine, and his twin girls. On the ride back to the countryside, it is evident that Jesse is left with several concerns. Celine, however, brings him back to reality at the mention of new job opportunities.

The family appears to be enjoying their Greek getaway, courtesy of the Jesse’s flourishing career. The twins girls seem to be having the time of their lives. The couple, apart from taking in beautiful sights, enjoy the carefree spirit that has risen from this vacation. Friends made throughout the vacation offer the couple a hotel room for the night, to revive memories. On the journey to the hotel room, Jesse and Celine begin to share their love story, from the night spent in Vienna in 1994. The commotion starts once a hotel employee asks for an autograph and Celine begins to notice that they come from different worlds. Instead of it being a lustful night, Jesse states that he wants to move to Chicago and be there for his son. Celine is against this decision, as her life would come spiraling downwards. The conversation gets heated, to the point where Celine shares her fear of being a housewife in the future. The couple spews whatever comes to mind. The discussion comes to end when Celine says she has run out of love for her husband.

As a romantic gesture, Jesse runs after his wife and reveals what “82 year old Celine” advises Celine in a situation like this. The couple must take everyday a step at a time and the love present. Love beats their imperfect reality. This small hurdle was easy to overcome.

The film, despite certain boring scenes, shares an important message about love. There will always be obstacles that the couple must take head-on. However, love and the power of memory are forces that are greater than us all. The decisions we make will affect us for years to come. Through inappropriate jokes and relatable statements, the audience is drawn to finding a positive outcome for the characters. Love conquers all.

Sure, you might feel like falling asleep in some scenes. Nonetheless, the message still leaves with you once the movie is over. There is no mystery why this movie gained a multitude of awards and recognitions when it was released.  

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