This is a beautiful film. Director Kogonada has made several tribute videos, essays and shorts but this is his debut feature. And he nails it, with help of the stunning, meticulously framed cinematography by Elisha Christian.
Columbus, Indiana is the backdrop to the story that positions a daughter giving up her career to care for her mother, and a son who was neglected in favour of a career by his father. Symbolism, symmetry and architecture provide the metaphors for the messages and themes, and I took them mostly to mean that some of us strive to align symmetry to our lives but the reality is that we can all achieve balance - even when things are off kilter.
As an Asian film-maker, Kogonada has clearly been influenced by Kim Ki-Duk and Takeshi Kitano ('Time' and' Kikujiro' are similar in tone) and also the one point perspective techniques of Kubrick. The result here, is a phenomenally beautiful movie that trickles along nicely as we meet a male - female dynamic that share their troubles and end up trying to figure out how to move on to the next chapter of their lives. Haley Lu Richardson and John Cho are a great combo, and the former especially gives a pretty amazing turn well beyond her years.
Think Asian cinema blended in with stunning photography, and perhaps a hint of Jim Jarmusch's 'Paterson' and it's about where this movie is. There's also a hint of the before / after trilogy in the dialogue.
Those who appreciate aesthetics will enjoy this movie. Those who prefer more of an adrenaline rush will want to avoid it.