If any film manages to generate an emotional response from an audience it has achieved something. Whether it is joy or hatred, it’s a rare accomplishment when so many movies fall into unemotive territory. Cosmopolis is a film that’s hard to endure due to its pretentious nature, but deserves credit for inspiring a unique form of wrath – rage against the Cronenberg.
Eric Packer (Robert Pattinson) is a powerful businessman whose world manages to unravel in the course of a day.
Cosmopolis is an extreme view from the top. Forget the 1 per cent; this is a film about the 0.01% per cent. A series of intense conversations are the foundation of the film. The situation is complex and requires an acute level of attention to get on board with the themes, but it’s all open to interpretation, and the film’s legacy will be endless debate. Throughout the film there is intensity to the situation, despite minimal action, the pressure steadily builds until the finale.
There is a distinct whiff of arrogance that surrounds the film and most of it comes from Pattinson’s performance. His character sits on a mobile throne with nothing but venom for the world he subtly controls with wealth and power. It’s an impressive feat for Pattison and his gaunt physique and slick haircut adds to the frame of a nightmarish yuppie – this guy makes Gordon Gekko from Wall Street look like a teddy bear.
Cosmopolis is ruthless and unless you’re willing to engage with the concepts it’s an alienating experience. There is a level of disdain I felt towards the characters and the film as a whole for what it represented, and that feeling felt reciprocated in every frame. Film’s that challenge an audience are always welcome but this film challenges you from a great height as if to look down on you like a petty cinemagoer. This experience will be different for everyone and it’s a credit to Cronenberg that the film will represent different things to different people, positive or negative it’s a response nonetheless.
[rating=1] and a half
Cameron Williams - follow Cam on Twitter here: @popcornjunkies
Directed by: David Cronenberg
Written by: David Cronenberg (screenplay), Don DeLillo (novel)
Starring: Robert Pattinson, Juliette Binoche and Sarah Gadon
Cosmopolis is released on Thursday 2nd of August 2012 in Australia.