Movie Review: Before Trilogy

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  1. Before Sunrise (1995)
  2. Before Sunset (2004)
  3. Before Midnight (2013)

I have to say that I’m really not a romance genre type of person when it comes to movies. Romance movies always seem so sappy and just… overly cheesy to me. I was half expecting myself to dislike the first movie but man was I blown away by it.

Some people might not like the trilogy because the movies are pretty minimalistic, being filled with conversations and not much action (if any). But it is in the actors’ performances, their chemistry and the movies’ poignant, thought-provoking lines that warrant the home run. The movies, especially Before Sunrise, were filled with beautiful scenes of Europe – Vienna, France, which were a feast for the eyes. And I’ve never seen such authenticity in movies in a pretty long time. All three movies were so good, which was surprising because I half expected it to start dwindling in quality, but that was totally not the case.

It was also interesting to see the progress with the times, given how far apart in time the movies were produced and released. You go from not having any mobile phones (in the 1995 movie) to using Skype and taking videos with the mobile phone and everything (in the 2013 movie). Actually, I was also struck by how empty the streets looked in 1995… and how much I would’ve liked that.

Overall, this trilogy is a realistic outlook on love and life, nothing too fancy, and it will surprise you. If you like movies that offer different perspectives and think about even after they’ve finishing running, this would be the movie trilogy for you. I recommend watching them straight at one go (which will take about 5-6 hours). I wouldn’t say whether it’s a happy or sad ending, but it’s a satisfyingly realistic one.

Overall rating: A+

A little bit about what my ratings mean:

  • A: Worth a watch.
  • B: May appeal to some audiences.
  • C: Don’t even bother.

A love letter

Dear Singapore,

I have known no other city as well as you. I have caught glimpses of other cities as I grew older, but I guess it is like the way with lovers who’ve been together for decades – there’s nothing that can replace that love strewn together with the sense of familiarity. You’ll always have a special place in my heart, no matter where the future takes me. I’ll always be rooted to you, whether by choice or circumstance.

I am in love with how freely I can walk the streets at night. I love the crisp night air, and how it feels like to cruise on the roads at night. I love how city the Marina district is with towering architecture of banks and other commercial buildings in the Downtown Core, and how it overlooks the sea and the vast array of familiar landmarks associated with Singapore. The city lights twinkle with the night breeze.

Cities are very similar to one another, driven by demand and supply leading to a consistent backdrop of high-rise commercial buildings of MNCs strewn across the globe. But there’s always some things unique to every city, and Singapore is no exception. That face of Singapore, short of pretentiousness – the heartlands, with its hawker centres, coffeeshops and void decks, shop spaces beneath HDBs, mama shops… these are all things I’ve grown to love and appreciate.

There are a few places in Singapore that I hold dear to my heart. Be it rooftops of buildings like Star Vista, certain malls in the Orchard/Somerset district, or malls of Jurong East, or Esplanade, even if they have become strewn with faded memories of past lovers and almost-lovers with time. The grass patches of Marina Barrage, beaches and parks on off-peak periods… even certain parts of the University I’ve spent 3 years in.

Of course, I do think about the grass on the other side, where life proceeds at a slower pace compared to the breakneck speed here. But I know that everything comes with tradeoffs. I’m not sure what the future holds for me, and my feet itch to crawl the world and truly see with my own eyes what is in the books and movies and shows that I consume. But my heart will always lie with you.

Love,

A true-blue Singaporean who has spent pretty much all her life here in this city she calls home.

These days the lights flash in multicolour and everything is akin to a running reel of The Truman Show. On paper, it is all fine and dandy. Between the lines, the words crumble or fade out altogether. I am breaking myself down completely and rebuilding my insides stone by stone. I have to falter in order to move forward. I have to make mistakes in order to learn from them and become better. And the focus is on doing my best in everything that I do, and learning to let people in instead of shutting them all out.

unspoken volumes

For someone who knows a lot of words, I find the most meaning not from the tongue, but from what we say with the being. It is the way we lock eyes at once in a crowded room, the way you make love and how you left, quietly, without any notice, until there was nothing of us, or the people we once were. A build up of make believe, an empty room with nothing but darkness.

of city dwelling

in this city that never sleeps,
the lights blur and the camera clicks
constant rush and our brains mush
a haven of comfort and convenience
and in this ecstasy, there are no words
to describe what i’m feeling

in this ecstasy, i may be
ecstatic. or in
complete misery, but who can tell?
sure, everything’s swell
so long as we’re dancing even in hell
all is good, all is well