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Before Sunrise

Talking with someone new can be daunting. In some ways you are ‘selling yourself’ with your words and ideas. Whether the other person is receptive to them can either lead to a long or short conversation. ‘Before Sunrise’ fits into the latter with this 1995 Richard Linklater directed movie reliant on words than action. Themes of self-discovery and relationships make this an interesting romantic drama with Vienna a stunning backdrop to a developing union

Travelling on a train from Budapest, Jesse (Ethan Hawke) meets Celine (Julie Delpy). After striking up a conversation, they disembark in Vienna. Walking arounds its streets, Jesse and Celine talk about past regrets and future ambitions. Along the way they discover things about each other leading them on a romantic path amidst the wondrous locale.

‘Before Sunrise’ is a well written and acted film heavily reliant on its leads. Hawke and Delpy exude genuine chemistry as a duo seizing the chance at spontaneity and freedom from usual social mores. Both are kindred and carefree spirits using the anonymous nature of their surrounds to be uninhibited in what they say. This reveals more about themselves than may have happened otherwise with the growing friendship and romance feeling believable.

There’s not much of a plot to be found in ‘Before Sunrise’ but that doesn’t matter. The main characters are interesting enough to engage with along with the excellent scenery. Occasionally the pacing drags but quickly picks up as each new personal discovery offers another fascinating twist to the character’s interactions.

‘Before Sunrise’ is more of a slow-burning romantic film than the usual Hollywood dross. The humour and drama occur naturally, discarding the formula in which the genre indulges far too often. Given two sequels arrived after this shows the impact ‘Before Sunrise’ had with the solidly presented characters lingering in the memory as much as Vienna’s grand streets itself.

Rating out of 10: 8

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