Old friends are rare. Those friends that you knew long ago and for some reason separated from, that you see again and boom, right back. Old friends never leave you. They stamp their mark on you whether you knew them for years or hours. Before Sunset tells the story of a rekindling, a romance rebuilt because nine years before two lost souls became old friends over night.
It's been nine years since Jesse and Celine separated. He's written a book about the previous encounter. She meets him in Paris before he catches a plane out at sunset. More walking, more talking, more landmarks and just more.
It's a continuation not only of their relationship, but of the first movie. A movie without pure convict or a device to drive our lovers apart. In the end, throughout the movie, they are free to come and go as they please. They have an hour and change and the movie moves along in real time as they work through the last nine years apart. They are the same, meeting the same and enjoying each other. Older, more frustrated with life, yet together allowing themselves to be with each other and realize they were better for it.
Maybe it's just nice to see two people act like people in a movie. Reconnect and have that initial "hey" and "oh my god" and "you look so different" with the more time they spend the more the new paint flakes off and the dirt underneath is exposed. To see them react to the dirt and embrace it.
The center of the trilogy, the "what could be" chapter. Here we see two people without each other confronting the one person they don't want to lie to about lives they don't want to live. What could be and might be, the paths not taken and the paths ahead.
Goddamn I love these movies.