Watch Columbus

"In the middle of all the mess... there was this."
  • NR
  • 2017
  • 1 hr 44 min
  • 7.2  (19,797)
  • 89

"Still waters run deep" can be an apt description of Columbus, the 2017 film directed by Kogonada starring John Cho and Haley Lu Richardson. The movie offers a thoughtful exploration of the connection between architecture, art and human relationships. Set in the small town of Columbus, Indiana, the film delves into the lives of two individuals who are at different stages of their lives but find solace in each other's company. Jin (John Cho) is a Korean-American man who returns to Columbus to be with his father, who falls into a coma while giving a lecture on architecture. Casey (Haley Lu Richardson) is a young woman who lives in Columbus and works at the local library, eager to escape the small town and pursue her dreams.

Jin, who has a strained relationship with his father, meets Casey by chance. Drawn by the city's modernist architecture, he visits various buildings and discovers Casey, who happens to be a fan of the design too. The two start a conversation and, despite their differences, find a connection. Casey introduces Jin to local landmarks like the Eero Saarinen-designed Miller House and Irwin Conference Center, and the two engage in conversations that reveal their aspirations, fears, hopes and thoughts on life.

The movie explores the themes of self-discovery, family, and sacrifice. Jin struggles to reconcile with his father, with whom his relationship has frayed over the years. Casey is torn between her love for her mother, who struggles with addiction and is in a rehab clinic, and her desire to pursue her dreams. She has to decide whether her responsibility towards her family is worth stifling her ambitions.

Throughout their conversations and interactions, the city's architectural landmarks come alive, allowing Kogonada to express his love for architecture and design. The buildings become a metaphor for the characters' emotional states, as they grapple with questions of identity, belonging, and legacy.

The movie boasts excellent performances from the ensemble cast, especially Cho and Richardson. Cho brings a subtle melancholy to his portrayal of Jin, a man stuck in a rut and struggling with his past. Richardson breathes life into Casey, imbuing her character with a sense of vulnerability and strength.

Parker Posey, in a supporting role as a former student of Jin's father, delivers a pitch-perfect performance, adding layers to a character that could easily have been one-dimensional.

The film's cinematography is captivating, filmed entirely in Columbus, with the city's modernist landmarks as a backdrop. Kogonada's use of still shots, steady frames, and slow pans allows the audience to appreciate the buildings' beauty while adding a meditative quality to the film.

One of the film's strengths is its ability to eschew mainstream conventions, opting for a slow-burn narrative that allows the characters and the setting to breathe. The dialogue, while sparse, is nuanced, and the interactions between the characters feel authentic.

Columbus is a thoughtful, introspective film that offers a unique perspective on human relationships and the role of architecture and design in our lives. It's a movie that rewards patience and attention, inviting the audience to observe and reflect on the subtle moments that make up the human experience.

Columbus is a 2017 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 44 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.2 and a MetaScore of 89.

Where to Watch Columbus
Columbus is available to watch free on Kanopy. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Hulu, Paramount+, Amazon Prime, Apple TV Channels, FuboTV, Showtime, The Roku Channel, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play and YouTube VOD. Some platforms allow you to rent Columbus for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 44 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.2  (19,797)
  • Metascore