When in Manila was invited by Echo Channels to the special advanced screening of Before Midnight at Greenbelt 3 Cinemas last June 25, 2013. Three words: it was surreal!
Heads up! While this article is not entirely a film review, some parts may come off as movie spoilers. Read at your own risk. Thank you!
I did a one-time big-time ritual a couple of days before watching Before Midnight. Since there was a nine-year interval between each film of the trilogy, I had an immediate idea of re-watching the first two films, Before Sunrise (1994) and Before Sunset (2004). It was my own way of rekindling Jesse and Celine’s unending conversations that led them to falling in love.
You know a film is good when you love it in spite of seeing it for countless of times, such as my fascination with Before Sunrise and Before Sunset. I was still in elementary school when Before Sunrise was first shown. I didn’t see it at that time, maybe because I was preoccupied with Science projects or book reports, but I do remember how my sisters swooned over Ethan Hawke and his on-camera love affair with Julie Delpy.
I saw both films when I was in my earliest 20s. I couldn’t magnify how much I adore the films’ structure and realistic script but everything was all the more illuminated when I re-watched them. And just like how my sisters did, I swooned over Jesse and Celine’s two-decade old romance – for the nth time.
A handful of malingering questions and anticipation arose in Before Sunrise. As expected, a truckload of should-have-beens and what-ifs paraded the entirety of Before Sunset. If there was one thing that was predictable about the two films, it’s that you’ll know that they will have an open ending, which was a brilliant way to leave all viewers hanging for 9 strenuous years.
Before Midnight: Is This the End?