Cosmopolis (2012) Directed by David Cronenberg. With Robert Pattinson, Juliette Binoche, Kevin Durand, Samantha Morton, Sarah Gadon and Paul Giamatti.
Cosmopolis is the kind of self-indulgent garbage that makes you dread ever watching another film again. Written and directed by David Cronenberg, the film is about a wealthy businessman (Robert Pattinson) being driven around Manhattan in his stretch limousine. He meets various people along the way and they talk a lot about nothing. I think that’s the point.
After the initial intrigue that comes with any new Cronenberg offering wears off, you suddenly realise that you’re getting very bored. Boredom quickly becomes annoyance as Cronenberg disappears up his own backside (Pattinson literally has a prostate examination in his limo) with disparate conversations taking place between various characters concerning wealth, contemporary life, health, technology and general existence.
It represents a disappointing left turn from Cronenberg. The mid-2000’s saw a confident return to form with Eastern Promises and A History of Violence, but here he jettisons all narrative structure in favour of an abstract style of film making that comes from a much more experimental place than the best work in his catalogue. The hard truth is, he’s no David Lynch.
Robert Pattinson will have no doubt baffled the armies of Twilight devotee’s who will have trampled over each other to see him star in this. A time-lapse shot of their confused faces watching this crap unfold, would make for a far more rewarding viewing experience than the film itself. Pattinson’s character is like a corpse in a hearse. His soundproofed limo doesn’t get above 2mph for the entire film, which is in-step with the snails pace of the piece. If often feels like the characters are just talking to themselves, rather than each other. Then at other times, they’ll be talking and your concentration will have shifted to your ironing pile or the dirty dishes in your kitchen.
What is Cronenberg trying to say here? It’s not that easy to define. He seems to be protesting about capitalism and the joyless pursuit of wealth, but he’s also interested in decay; not only of the human form, but also of the state of capitalism. Everything in the film begins as sleek, shiny and new and gradually descends into broken, dirty and used. In short, Cosmopolis is pretentious and boring. 1.5/5