Category: Reviews – In Theaters

Image courtesy of Paramount Pictures.

** (out of 4)

If you were to plot every filmmaker’s career trajectory on a graph, Darren Aronofsky’s would be one of the many that’d peak early but considerably flatten out thereafter. Back in 2000, he struck gold with Requiem for a Dream, a depiction of the infernal realities of drug addiction that still resonates with an alarming poignancy. But in both The Wrestler and Black Swan, he followed his characters’ obsessions with such an obsessiveness of his own that he neglected to examine the societal and cultural mores that endorse such dangerous perfectionism. And we’d be better off not talking about The Fountain and Noah.

For the most part, mother!, Aronofsky’s newest movie, confirms the fact that he still hasn’t found a way out of the moviemaking wilderness.

Reviews - In Theaters

Image courtesy of Sundance Institute.

** ½ (out of 4)

Kogonada’s Columbus is the latest movie (see anything by Sofia Coppola or Michelangelo Antonioni for older examples) to tackle the subject of ennui. This time around, the setting is Columbus, Indiana – an oft-neglected hub of modern architecture – and the two unmoored protagonists are played by John Cho and Haley Lu Richardson. Cho’s character, Jin, is an overworked Korean-American who has to look after his dying father; Richardson’s character, Casey, is a bookworm who put off college to take care of her mom, a recovering meth addict. On the whole, both of them feel so estranged from the world that they habitually wear expressions laced with a sort of weary, resigned melancholy. But instead of getting bogged down in misery, Jin and Casey eventually find themselves doing what Bob and Charlotte did in Coppola’s Lost in Translation: bonding over their shared emotional frustrations.

Many flawed movies get that way because they’re superficial or repetitive. What’s peculiar about Columbus is that its problem is neither of those: Kogonada clearly has a brain, and his depiction of jaded resignation appreciably differs from Antonioni’s futile desperation and Lost’s ineffable despair. Instead, the main issue with Columbus stems from its inconsistent treatment of its material.

Reviews - In Theaters

Reviews - In Theaters