before midnight review - no spoilers

I was given the privilege to catch an advanced screening of Before Midnight the other day. Before Midnight is the third installment of the "Before Series", hopefully you've seen them or are familiar with them?

Thinking you have seen the prior 2...In this 3rd sequel, Jesse and Celine are now in their 40s and living together in Paris. Jesse as a celebrated writer (he wrote two books, This Time and That Time - about his first two meetings with Celine) and Celine as an environmentalist. They also have two twin girls and another boy from Jesse's previously failed marriage.

Before Midnight is set in Greece, where the family go on a vacation by Patrick's (another esteemed writer) invitation at his villa. 

In true "Before" tradition, the movie is all talk which is what makes it brilliant in my book.  I find it almost impossible to fathom how it is possible to keep an audience engaged for an entire hour and a half with just dialogue, no special effects and minimal casting but "Before" manages to do this effortlessly the same way a Die Hard film can keep you at the edge of your seat. 

How? I think it lies on the realness of the situation, characters and discussions. The banter is always witty and relevant to its target audience. There were numerous times when I felt like Celine was speaking my mind, sometimes even Jesse. 

Their problems are real, they look real and the arguments they have are so real that it makes you feel their frustration straight from the bottom of your belly. The movie's success relies deeply on its ingenius, quick-witted screenplay and flawless acting by both Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke. 

It is truly refreshing to be able to enjoy a movie that is this raw without the usual flashiness and high profile workings that most movies today thrive on.

Before Midnight is a great end (if it is the last) to the Before Series and I highly suggest you go see it with your partner/friends. Just make sure to watch the previous two first (in case you havent) so you can better appreciate this one. Trust me, it is one of the best movies ever released and is definitely a must-see.

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Before Midnight is set to be released in all Philippine Cinemas this July 10, 2013