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Monday, October 22, 2012

COSMOPOLIS Review. Self-Indulgent Film


It's been awhile since we heard from RAMA, but he is back with another review.

Wow! This is Robert Pattinson like you’ve never seen him before. I’ve never read the so-called prophetic novel, by author Don DeLillo, on which this movie is based, so I’m sure those of you who did, would be able to understand COSMOPOLIS a whole lot better than the rest of us who may scratch our heads afterwards thinking that nothing about this film makes any sense. I get the concept and the idea but is it necessary to be told in this manner, is still the burning the question. But we all know that it’s not a David Cronenberg film without raw sex and violence and a psychology that messes with your heads…

Unfolding in a single cataclysmic day, the story follows Eric Packer (Robert Pattinson) – a 28-year old financial whiz kid and billionaire asset manager – as he heads out in his tricked-out stretch limo to get a haircut from his father’s old barber, while remotely wagering his company’s massive fortune on a bet against the Chinese Yuan. Packer’s luxe trip across the city quickly becomes dizzyingly hellish as he encounters explosive city riots, a parade of provocative visitors, and is thrust into a myriad of intimate encounters. Having started the day with everything, believing he is the future, Packer’s perfectly ordered, doubt-free world is about to implode. 

Does COSMOPOLIS talk about today’s society and economic condition, the distance between the wealthy and the poor? Does it talk about the 1% or the occupy wall street movement? Or does it only talk about a bored, brilliant rich young man who just wants to get a haircut and all the while, searching for something, anything that would excite him again? Does this talk about the Gates and the Zuckerbergs of the world? Does this talk against our abuse of high speed information that getting out of hand? I think you can interpret COSMOPOLIS however you want. It’s all that and more, it’s chaotic, it’s absurd, it’s also conceited and it triggers your jealousy. A man who own practically the whole world, playing in a game or betting a game that’s bigger than any of us could ever wrap our heads around. Robert Pattinson as Eric Parker is emotionless and calculating. The characters that share his Limo ride are somewhat voices that tell him to do one way or the other; a weird range of unlikely advisors if you ask me. The world hates him, the world crumbles around him and you’re left wondering if he could care less.

Perhaps this is David Cronenberg’s exploitation of the financial situation of our time, perhaps this is Cronenberg’s way of depicting the resentment towards the few lucky punks who look down on others, but perhaps Cronenberg bit off more than he could chew because as relevant as he tried to make this film to be, I don’t think the way it’s told can resonate well with many audiences, whether they’re poor, middle class or well off.

COSMOPOLIS would have to be my least favorite David Cronenberg’s film so far. The acting is marvelous across the board. Morton, Binoche, Pattinson and the great Giamatti, all bring their A-game, but this limo ride of philosophical theories and nonsensical economic predictions mixed with pointless violent shock value, does nothing but leave a bitter aftertaste.

Perhaps COSMOPOLIS is sorta like Cronenberg’s APOCALYPSE NOW and Robert Pattinson’s character is equivalent to Col. Kurtz11 but COSMOPOLIS is a self-indulgent film that’s definitely not everyone and Pattinson is no Brando.

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