‘Before Sunrise’: Review

Before Sunrise

There’s always that certain awkwardness about meeting someone for the first time, where you create this vision of yourself, and what you want to be and present that. Nobody ever “honestly” meets someone first off, you pick and choose elements of yourself that think the other would deem pleasing about you, and you share those in hopes that you are correct. You don’t bare the brunt of every opinion, thought or experience you have, in fear of scaring said person away or making them think differently of you that’s not true. Sure, if this relationships lasts over a longer period of time, you slowly let the person know more about who you really are, and in turn you find out about who they really are. Maybe, you don’t believe in love, or religion, or maybe some experience in your childhood turned you off of pie. I don’t know, but these things come tumbling out as you go on, such as what builds a relationship.

Jesse meets Céline on a train en route to Vienna. He strikes up a conversation with her, they talk, he becomes entranced by her and convinces her to get off with him in Vienna and accompany him until the 9 AM the next morning when he flies back to the States. Why is he in Europe? Why is she on this train? Why are they both alone? Why get off a train with someone you hardly know? These questions are answered immediately, but only at face value, the answer you get by skimming the outer-most surface of what’s really going on. Both of them have nothing to lose, though, they are in a foreign country all by themselves without a connection to family, friends, or a job, so why not confide in a blank slate that you’re never going to see again? The conversation gets looser and freer, opinions on love, life, relationships, religion and philosophy are discussed, not the immediate go-to’s with a new acquaintance, these are the deep cuts that truly define a person and only seem to come out later. Everything is laid on the table and each self is truly laid bare for the other.

Jess is trying to piece things together with some alone time in the European countryside after his girlfriend breaks up with him we find out. Céline is on the way back to school, a safe haven that she can remain in without having to make any real life decisions just yet. Both sides got off that train because they saw something in each other, not the whole picture, but a glint of what’s underneath that surface. Their night together was more fluid and life-affirming than any relationship of any number of time beforehand. It was the the freedom to be who they actually were in front of the other, no real idea of failure or of ultimate dismissal.

What better place to focus this night in one of the most historically and romantically rich cities in the world. Vienna provides a backdrop of culture and spinning off points for tangents of conversations, from palm readers, art, religion, classical music, poems, literature. All things that have come to define the objects of life that we hold so dear, such as love, connecting, dreaming, theorizing, philosophizing and conversing. It doesn’t take much to meet a person, or even finding common interests, but one that you can bare the brunt of every corner of your thoughts to, and still wants to know what’s deeper, well that’s hard after a prolonged time, but after one night feels like something that could only be meant to be.



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