Written by: 
Nefeli Maria Charalampous Perdiki Monday, 15 February, 2021 - 17:01

Multicultural Love On Script

I was looking for a movie that represented both romance and the mobility aspect, so when I stumbled upon this masterpiece, I knew I had to write about it. It is a film about taking a chance and embracing life as it is - as an adventure.

I hope you were able to spend Valentine’s Day with your significant other physically or virtually!

Now, let’s get to business. Valentine’s tends to be more about mainstream kinds of love. The sort of (commercial)  love that at its core is superficial and lacks depth. This love becomes crystal clear if someone observes the art that’s produced specifically for that day. Netflix and other big platforms use this day to reproduce stereotypical, film-like cliché love story material. We can all agree that these films can become an addictive and guilty pleasure. At this point, I would like to confess that I spent my quarantine Christmas binge-watching Christmas romance movies on Netflix, but please don’t share my secret - I have a facade to maintain.

Having said that, the purpose of this article is for me to present to all of you (citizens of the world, Erasmus students, ESN volunteers, and all others who believe in a multicultural experience) the one romance film (trilogy really) that checks off every significant need and craving that you may have for your film choice of the day. Before I reveal this film to you, I would like to mention a few key points about the reasons behind my choice. 

Firstly, I wanted it to be an experience you could relate to. This film involves two people walking around a foreign city, observing the oddities of the place, the peculiarities of its people, and most importantly, falling in love in a setting unlike the ones we are used to seeing in the Hollywood industry. Secondly, you will hear more than three languages being mentioned, ever so briefly, throughout the movie. I considered it a significant aspect for every exchange student because it gives you the daydream-like idea that you, in your new city, could be one of the main characters. All the new streets you get to walk on, all the new faces and experiences you get to fall in love with...you have every single thing in this film. But the most important reason behind my choice is the film itself. The director made the wise choice to separate the film into three parts. In my opinion, this makes the love story realistic. In the beginning, it might fool you because it looks a lot like instant love, but by the end of it, you understand the depth of the characters, the multidimensional aspects of their personalities, and you sort of fall in love with them.

It isn’t all lovey-dovey though. Throughout the trilogy, you get the chance to witness the humane aspects of the film that separate the characters from the usual caricatures experienced in typical love films. The director doesn’t fill it with over-the-top drama that is mostly unrelatable to the viewers but chooses everyday-like drama: the drifting apart, the falling in love, the heartache of missing someone and not being able to express it to them.

It is a film about taking a chance and embracing life as it is - as an adventure

All in all, it is a cinematic experience you shouldn’t miss. Let’s move to the big revelation of the film… ‘The Before Trilogy’ is a three-piece romance film directed by Richard Linklater. It follows a French woman and an American man randomly meeting on a train from Budapest. Jesse's stop is in Vienna, where he is planning to catch a flight back to the United States, whereas Celine is returning to Paris. Following a series of events which take place on the train, Jesse asks Celine to spend one day with him in Vienna until his flight takes off the next day. As you can imagine, we get to see them walking around Vienna, and we witness them falling in love in Vienna. Funnily enough, this is the film that made me want to visit Vienna so badly.

As you can imagine, relationships between international people aren’t a common occurrence in films. That played a significant part when I chose the film. I wanted it to represent the multicultural type of love that you can experience during your Erasmus. I want all of you to get a taste of this unforgettable experience of connecting with someone, even though your language, your ethnicity, and your cultural background may be different. It is a mind-blowing feeling that sort of explains how, deep down, we are all the same. We have similar dreams, hopes, and aspirations. We fall in love suddenly, and we experience all these powerful emotions in the blink of an eye. In essence, we are all human. This film portrays all of that in an extraordinarily poetic way, so I have to recommend it to you.

To wrap it up, If you want to spend your day watching a film with a bit more quality in its characters and its plot, but which still keeps the romance, this is your film! In the spirit of Valentine’s day, take some time to appreciate love and all it stands for, and do it with this film. Lastly, to those of you doing your Erasmus semester or internship away from your home and your partner, I am one of you, and all I can say is hold on to them, using whatever means available.

Pour some wine, get your video call going, and let love do the rest!

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