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Chris Evans and Alice Eve in BEFORE WE GO

A woman misses her train from New York to Boston and is stuck in the Big Apple. A subway musician comes to her assistance, is rebuffed, but still shows up when she really needs help a few minutes later. And that is how Brooke (Alice Eve) and Nick (Chris Evans) end up spending an entire night wandering around New York City.

To be clear the woman doesn’t trust the guy right away, in fact she starts out by giving him a fake name: Carrie – as in Carrie Bradshaw – as in that Carrie Bradshaw. Both of them have demons they are avoiding facing, and both of them end up chasing around New York City – first to try and get her out and to Boston before a certain time limit expires, and later to help him face up to what he has to do to finally be able to move on in his life. Somewhere along the way, a deeper connection develops.

This is Chris Evans’s directorial debut and it is a very nicely wrought film that takes place over one night in the second most magical city in the world. The performances are very capable and it is good to be reminded that the man who plays Captain America has a setting other than ‘morally upright’ in his performance arsenal. Ms. Eve is good too and while her accent slips a few times–she’s playing an American, which she’s not–she holds up as an able yin (or is it yang?) to his yang (or is it yin?)

This movie is essentially a two-hander — two people walking and talking and sharing and doubting and confessing and finding themselves feeling something for a person they might never have met if events hadn’t conspired to throw them together.

Throughout the time I was watching Before We Go I kept wondering why we don’t make movies like this in India. I’ve asked the question and the answer I’ve always received is ‘economics’. I was led to understand that major (and minor) movie stars don’t take pay cuts to do ‘small movies’. And I suppose since a film like this would be hard pressed to make a 100 crores at the box office, there is a real possibility that movies like this will continue to not be made in India.

I’m sure someone somewhere could cite some experimental undertaking within the annals of Indian cinema. That’s not what I’m talking about here. I wish there was a consistent output of small smart movies that people could enjoy on the big screen or discover at their leisure when they play ad infinitum on one of the hundreds of television channels we have at our disposal. A movie like Before We Go is exactly the kind of movie to watch on a rainy afternoon, or a stay-in night. In the absence of desi examples, I guess we will have to hope that the global VOD market allows movies like this to continue getting made.

Check it out if you can. You might like it. I know I did.