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Once in a while, there are moments when you are watching a film where you feel completely uneasy – not so you’re going to throw up or walk out because you feel disgusted or violated, but where the tension just completely overwhelms you so that you’re grasping whatever you can to get over the unsettling feeling. Imagine that feeling for a whole 108 minutes, and that’s probably the best short description I could give you about nerve-wracking mastermind David Cronenberg’s newest movie “Cosmopolis.”
First off, anybody who puts down Robert Pattinson as an actor because of his Edward Cullen vampire history is a hater – straight up. The kid’s got major talent, proving it in “Cosmopolis.” He plays billionaire asset manager Eric Packer, a young sex addict who rides around New York City in his stretch limousine complete with a high-tech office, a hideaway toilet, and more than enough room for casual mid-day procreative endeavors.
Packer is completely disconnected from reality and doesn’t want to be seen by anyone. He hides in his limousine, where he believes he is physically protected by his bodyguard Torval (Kevan Durand) and intellectually protected by his supercomputers and countless jargon-speaking employees. But Eric is truly uneasy, in part because he can’t get his newly married multi-billionaire wife to put out in bed but also because his assets are crumbling to nothing amidst the devaluation of the US dollar. Putting the cherry on top of this bad day is the fact that he can’t get down the street to his barber for a haircut because there is a giant Occupy-like protest invading the streets, with the demonstrators holding rats that are supposed to represent what the U.S. currency has turned to.
“Cosmopolis” might be only for fans of David Cronenberg. The plot structure might not be accessible for those who are not familiar with his less comprehensible work, as every topic is ambiguous; nothing is concrete. This is the kind of film for someone who doesn’t mind waiting in the theater for a while for the arrival of the climax, as the tense atmosphere builds slowly but sturdily and the dialogue continually repeats its statements and even questions them. Characters arrive and leave within ten minutes, including Jay Baruchal (of “Goon”) who was damn near perfect for the short time him and Pattinson babbled about pretentious philosophical and mathematical topics.
When the camera isn’t stationary in the limousine, it elegantly moves and tracks Packer as he becomes more and more paranoid and senseless. 100 people could watch this movie and there would still be probably 50-100 different outlooks on what it was about. The amount of pure thought that went into the creation of “Cosmopolis” is astounding, and I will surely be watching it again and again to catch anything I missed. This is something that you should surely see for yourself, as your reaction will unquestionably differ from most others’ – but either way, director David Cronenberg will intriguingly shock you with this film as he’s known to do.
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