Sunday, July 8, 2012

Cosmopolis: Movie Review

A metaphor about the continual economic collapse has abstruse meaning and little else.

“Cosmopolis” is set in the near future right before “the rat becomes a unit of currency”. A young financial business billionaire (Robert Pattinson) wants to get his hair cut, and then the movie very quickly devolves into an abstract discourse on the current state of the world’s finances. And I mean very abstract. Most scenes make little sense on their own, and even less sense in the greater whole of the movie. 2012

Directed by: David Cronenberg

Screenplay by: David Cronenberg

Starring: Robert Pattinson

As he gets in his limo and ventures forth to his barber, he is joined by business associates, a security guard, whore, former mistress, current wife, limo driver, and a disgruntled employee. Each scene generally involves him with one such acquaintance and they have a discussion on the day’s events in their business, or a metaphorical discussion on society and the need for money and wealth, or they get involved in sexual escapades, or all of the above.

The exchanges and their meaning start making a bit more sense as we go along, but there are only two characters who enter his life/his limo more than once. This movie isn’t about anything except the economic collapse and the greed of society as a whole. But it is also Robert Pattinson’s movie. If he were an actual character and not just a vehicle for a financial metaphor, his talent would be more obvious, but the climactic scene (with Paul Giamatti) where he has to accept what he has done and who he has become while an adversary is ready to force that acceptance onto him is extremely powerful.

With David Cronenberg’s expertise and Pattinson’s star-power, I was expecting “Cosmopolis” to be the must-see indie movie event of the year. I was wrong. The audience was sparse and five minutes after the curtains went up, I understood why. I didn’t understand much of the movie itself.


Margin Call (2011) - The buying and selling of protagonists and antagonists in a profanely straight film.