Thursday, April 19, 2018

Movie Review: "Columbus" (2017)

Image Source
Director: Kogonada
Year: 2018
Rating: NR
Running Time: 1 hours, 40 minutes

A Korean book translator returns home to Columbus, Indiana to see his dying father. Once there, he meets and connects with a young woman who loves architecture and is a fan of his father's work.
A building. (Image Source)
Buildings look cool. Families suck and drag you down. At the most rudimentary level, these are the themes of "Columbus." This film serves as the writing and directorial debut of Kogonada. It stars John Cho as Jin, the son of a renowned architect. Jin is an America but presently lives in Korea translating books for a publishing company. When his father falls terminally ill, Jin returns home to Columbus, Indiana to be there in case his dad passes away. In his downtime, Jin visits many local buildings to admire their design. He eventually meets Casey (Haley Lu Richardson), a young woman who loves architecture as well. As they discuss their lives with one another, it is revealed that Casey passed up a chance to fully realize her dream because she wants to keep an eagle-eye on her mom, who is a recovering meth addict. Despite having very little in common, the two connect over their melancholy existence, their unfulfilled dreams, and the exquisite architecture of their fine city.
A building. (Image Source)
Everyone loves "Columbus," and we wish we could say the same. This film has received massive amounts of praise and numerous nominations at all types of award shows. We knew we had to check it out for ourselves and see if we felt the same way. In all honesty, it might be better just to say you heard it was good rather than watching it for yourself. This is a film where two characters sit around spouting banal dialogue about how much their lives suck. They express how miserable they are in their current situations all while staring at random-but-beautiful buildings around the city of Columbus. You could probably watch an actual building being built and it would likely be more entertaining than watching "Columbus." Well, it might feel like it took less time. We've seen grass grow faster than the pacing of this movie.
A building.(Image Source)
Though we found the film to be poorly paced, we did think the acting was very good from both John Cho and Haley Lu Richardson. They manage to show how their characters are sad about their lives on a regular basis. And might we say now, we think John Cho needs to be in more films. Also, the cinematography is breathtaking. The buildings in Columbus are visually interesting if you are into architecture. Unfortunately, interesting looking buildings don't automatically make for an enjoyable, exciting, or engaging movie.
A building. (Image Source)
"Columbus" is yet another addition to the "walking and talking" indie film genre, only this time, we found the film to be a dull drudgery that's not remarkable in any way. We wanted to understand what the hype was all about, but this just didn't resonate with us in the slightest.

My Rating: 4.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 3.5/10
IMDB's Rating: 7.3/10
RT Rating: 98%
Do we recommend this movie: No.

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