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Actually, the English name is well chosen as Columbus is a city famous for its many modernist buildings. Construction is presented as striking backdrops throughout the story. Buildings are part of life in Columbus. People from all over the world travel there to be on guided architecture tours. There is much discussion about these buildings between Jin and Casey, the leading actor and actress. In fact, it is the architect of a much-talked-about building, though unwittingly, that has brought the two together as Jin is his son while Casey is a student in his class.
However, the movie is more about how the heart is touched. Jin, who has frequent deadlines to meet, has to put his translation work aside to visit his father who has fallen into a coma from which it is not known when he will ever wake up. Casey, a young architecture enthusiast who works as a page at the local library, has to delay her plan of further studies because of her obsession about her mother’s meth problem. The two meet accidentally, thus initiating a friendly, romantic relationship. They gradually become soul mates, pouring out their troubles to each other. This is somehow different from what I understand about the genre of American movies, which are often typified by instant love and quick sex. I am hardly aware of a sex scene and if there is, it is presented in an implied manner. And when they say good bye to each other, nothing more than a heartfelt hug passes between them. The romance between the two is chaste; it is a tasteful romance that sees the value of friendly relationship between men and women as key to something deeper. This is a pleasant surprise to me.
For a person with a particular fondness for documentary movies, “Columbus” inspires me with its natural, true to life approach to the story. I cannot remember any of the dramatic elements except for the catastrophic collapse of the renowned architecture scholar during a speaking tour. Columbus seems an everyday- story movie with the actor and actress acting out their own emotions. This is another attraction of the movie.
Though a lay person to the film industry, I found myself slowly learning to read the mind of the director by interpreting the meticulously chosen angles. I also gradually got used to the scenes that are shown repeatedly without the appearance of the actors. Such an intellectual approach to the story makes the movie more enjoyable than most of the others that seem too intent on making the story clear and precise to the audience.
The movie may seem slow to some viewers and I will not deny having to fight drowsiness for a few brief moments. But this does not make the movie any less worth seeing. At least, it well merits the time I’ve spent writing this review.