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 the 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
Interesting review, doesn’t sound like something I’d watch.
Thank you Vinnie. I hope that I’ve saved you the effort. Even fans of Cronenberg are likely to struggle with this. It was like trudging through porridge.
Consider me warned.
Good review, Gareth. The movie sounds very tedious! I’m sure the Twilight fans were left feeling confused.
Thank you for commenting. I’d be interested to listen in on some of the Twilight fans discussing it, directly after a screening. It’s art house with a capital A.
I did not see that one not that I am going to. Thanks
David Cronenberg’s worst film in my opinion. It’s a pity that he doesn’t seem interested in giving us another surreal body horror masterpiece (ala Videodrome and Shivers) or returning to the crime genre (Eastern Promises and History of Violence), because he excels at both of those.
What was he thinking here? Was he trying to emulate David Lynch in some way, or was he just taking the piss out of the audience?? It’s hard to tell. Can’t have done much to further the career of Robert Pattinson, either. Aside from this film, and perhaps A Dangerous Method, I’m pretty much onboard for all things Cronenberg.