EJ Paras’s review published on Letterboxd:
It’s just like our life, we appear and we disappear. We are so important to some, but we are just… passing through.
And just like that, I’m done with the Before Trilogy, and I am now emotionally drained.
I was happy that the plot elements to each film, essentially, were completely unknown to me. To preserve the experience for you as you’re reading this, if you haven’t gotten around to the Trilogy (I strongly recommend that you do), I also won’t tell you what happens between Sunset to Midnight.
What I will tell you, is that the dialogue is just as punchy, it’s just as wonderful.
Ethan Hawke’s Jesse and Julie Delpy’s Céline have transcended. Love is hard, and it most certainly is not perfect.
These two characters serve as a muse to this sort of “fleeting” feeling. Brief aside, love the title of one of the books Jesse wrote: Temporary Cast-Members of a Long-Running But Little-Seen Production of a Play Called Fleeting. Genius.
It’s tougher to write about this one, for me, than Sunrise or Sunset. Perhaps it’s because I haven’t gotten to this phase of my life, so I can’t draw from experiences personally. As I say that, you have Céline dropping wonderful knowledge (and calling back to the earlier films), when she says,
I mean, we always think we're evolving, but maybe we can't change that much.
With that notion, it’s wonderful seeing the maturity between the two, and this almost sort-of “fulfilled prophecy” that they each had for this idea of love they had for each other. Is that even English, what I just wrote? (I wrote this at 1:30am and I’m allowing myself to keep this hodgepodge of emotional language).
One of the best film trilogies I had the pleasure of watching. I’m upset it’s already over. But I know I’ll be revisiting Jesse & Céline in the future. I’ll use my time machine (and that time machine is probably called, The Criterion Collection).
But if you want true love - this is it. This is real life. It's not perfect, but it's real.