The movie “Before Sunset” is a 2004 American romantic drama film based on two lovers who had separated for nine years before meeting in again Paris. Though time and distance had drifted them apart, the urban planning of the city enables the two to rekindle their feelings towards each other. Paris highlights varied forms of transnational connections and borders between visitors and locals through the representation of the tourist sites, public spaces, and work spaces. The city is divided into arrondissements, which the cultural identity of the inhabitants is influenced by space. The ethics of city planning connotes the class of the residents as well as their cultural identities. The film applies the stereotypic touristic Paris together with the typical Parisian to redefine the connection between the characters and the location of the characters within the city and the association between the city, class, and identity further magnifies structuring of subjectivity by the city the idea of a cohesive society.
The international identity and iconic status of the city has been used in the film to appeal to the viewer. Tourist attractions sites have been invariably applied for varied purposes. Sites such as the hotel in Paris have been used in the film to heighten intimacy between the couple. These sites have also been avoided to emotionally manipulate the audience. After a nine-year separation, Celine and Jesses first set their eyes on each other in a crowded Seminar hall when Jesse answers questions concerning his book. This introduction sets the romantic theme and mood of the film. The city, also known as the city of love, inspires and emphasizes the theme that indeed dream comes true in Paris, as anything is possible within this location. The seven movie locations featured in the film characters the movie as both great and iconic as it emphasizes on the drama, action romance, and comedy within the film. Thus, Paris has been useful in capturing and magnifying the theme of love.
Numerous themes have been augmented by the location of the setting of the film. Death as a theme has been used in the film to explain why the two people who promised to meet again after six months failed to meet, but instead meet nine years later. Death is inevitable but its timing can never be predicted (Linklater). The film is full of unforeseen events, just as death. The first-time Jesse and Celine met, they did not share their phone numbers because they were not sure of how things were going to unfold in future. This uncertainty is similar to the nature of death. They imagine of what would happen if they were to die that same night. They say death is inevitable but it also gives people reason to live the life they want before their time comes; in a way, they say death gives meaning to life. Celine and Jesse do things they never planned for, they enter a boat with few people on board and talk about their past experiences with any disturbance. The city’s population is need high and only a few people could be seen within the coverage of the camera
Another theme in the film is the nature of time. The one attribute of time is that it changes. Things and people change and nothing remains the same (Speed 98). Whenever the two people first met, they were two naïve people, not very sure of their next step or about their feelings for each other. The next time they meet, they are mature and everybody has identified things they want to pursue in life. Celine is an ambassador of environment while Jesse is a writer. The time also changes their preferences and after staying with their partners for some time, they realize that is not the life they want. Celine’s boyfriend is not with her because he is committed somewhere, this shows how people are occupied and very people have time for their families and friends. Paris, just like other developed cities have time conscious people who work all around the clock. These two themes make the huge part of the conversation between Jesse and Celine when they meet in the library. This may be because they are each uncomfortable discussing their personal lives with each other. They discuss their careers and it emerges that Celine is too passionate about her career; Jesse also seems to love his writing career may be because it gives him.thy keep talking about many other topics in their appearances and future plans
The movie covers marriage and relationship issues that happen in the society. Jesse is married with one kind and Celine has a boyfriend who is a journalist. Celine is glad because her boyfriend is always far from her and Jesse reveals to her that the only reason he is staying with her girlfriend is because of the child they have. Celine admits that people can never be replaced and each breakup is damaging and hurtful. Jesse tries a lot of things to revive his marriage but nothing changes.
Both Jesse and Celine tell lies to save face at different instances. The first lie is when Jesse tells Celine he never appeared on the day they were supposed to meet. He later admits that he showed up because they lie was backfiring on him and it could be observed from his facial expression. Celine is dishonest when she says that she does not remember getting intimate with Jesse on their first encounter. This hurts Jesse and he cools him down by saying that she would check her diary when she gets back home. The fact that she wrote everything that happened on that day and ignores the part where they go intimate raises eyebrows. She later admits that she remembers the intimacy part but lied to avoid the topic. She lies she does not believe in magic or God.
Theme of love is evident in the movie. Jesse and Celine love each other but time seems to cut short their chance of finding out how much they need each other. Jesse is not in love with his girlfriend and only stays with her because he impregnated her and feels responsible for the child. Celine does not love the company of her boyfriend as much as she loves that of Jesse (Linklater). This shows that they still love each other and they agree to meet again later. Celine gives more details about her perception of what love is and how frustrating it could be sometime.
Another thing to say about the movie is that, it shows how modern life shapes people. People spend more time away from their families, the cities are designed in a way to ease the movement of people and people are always in a move. The boat is not only for recreation but for faster movement of the populace. The city has library, good eateries and good houses showing how civilized the Paris society is at the time the movie was cast.
Linklater, Richard, et al. Before sunset. SAM-myndbönd, 2003.
Speed, Lesley. “The Possibilities of Roads Not Taken: Intellect and Utopia in the Films of Richard Linklater.” Journal of Popular Film and Television 35.3 (2007): 98-106.
Sunset, Before. “Richard Linklater.” Warner Home Video (2004).