Posted by: Pinar Tarhan | October 8, 2009

Before Sunrise (1995)


I don’t remember when I first saw this movie, it was quite some years ago but I have seen it many times after that- yet it never gets old. It never ceases to be magical. It is sweet,romantic,fun and so real. Oh sure, it seems like the perfect fantasy: to meet this attractive,down-to-earth,fun and sincere stranger in a different country and get to spend some really great,uncomplicated fun with them. I do have some stories like that. I had some wonderful hours with a British guy ( a really cool 13-hour-date, only a couple of hours after the 4 hour non-stop chat the night before…Or I really had a blast with this Dutch guy I met in Norway. Nope- I am no way claiming that we had the connection of Jesse and Celine here. We weren’t really emotionally involved. Yet it was romantic,sexy and very enjoyable. So the idea of clicking with a stranger does not seem impossible. But I haven’t yet had that magical encounter depicted here…

Jesse is on a train to go to Vienna. He is a young American, played by Ethan Hawke. He meets this pretty and lovely French girl Celine ( Julie Delpy). They talk for hours and really enjoy each other’s company. So when it is time for Jesse to get off the train, he suggests that Celine goes off with him. He has one day to spend in the city before his flight to the States the next day. He cutely persuades Celine. After that Vienna serves as the background to one of my favorite love stories ever.

the trailer:

The two young people talk about anything and everything. They get to know each other. They instinctively travel through Vienna. They are impulsive, natural and they don’t play games. There is no pretending. They only have one day together and they don’t mess it up. They kiss at sunset. They enjoy the city and each other. They laugh and fool around. They walk hand in hand. They observe the magnificent city…There is a bond forming slowly but powerfully between these two former strangers and you just wish- like them- that this was not supposed to be their only night together.

You have one city, two leading actors-three and flowing dialogs. It was written by Richard Linklater -who also directed the movie- and Kim Krizan. Hawke and Delpy have made one genuinely great couple. It is just one romantic film that doesn’t need funny events, misunderstandings,ridiculous characters. The time limit is the only obstacle. It really makes you want to get on a train and travel through Europe-with the hopes that something even remotely similar will happen to you. The thing that feels so real about the movie is that how Linklater and Karizan have expressed so many true fears, expectations,dreams and doubts we have in our daily lives. It feels like we know both Jesse and Celine. In fact, we could easily be those characters.

If you haven’t seen it, trust me you are missing a great journey. The journey is so amazing that we- the viewers- fell in love with Linklater as the sequel of the movie Before Sunset was made years later. Oh trust me, Before Sunsrise will be your first love. But it will leave you wanting so much more that you will be grateful for the second piece of magic, set in Paris…







  1. Song inspired by Before Sunrise:
    [audio src="" /]

  2. i think what makes the movie so sweet is how it balances the magic of romance with life’s heart-breaking reality

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