Here are some great Cosmopolis reviews by The Cult Den, Filmblerg and Static Mass Emporium
From The Cult Den
‘Cosmopolis’ proves to be an outstanding and unflinching depiction of the current climate. The character of Eric Packer almost serves as a modern day martyr. His overwhelming sense of isolation from the real world or the growing disillusionment that comes with being wealthy, he seems relentless in his pursuit to reject any association with such a fatally mundane lifestyle.
In a real game changing role, Pattinson delivers his most accomplished and assured performance to date. Anchoring the film with meticulous poise and charisma, his thoroughly engaging protagonist here may finally put the doubters to rest in regards his acting abilities.
Cronenberg certainly hasn’t opted for the ‘hack and slash’ approach here either in his interpretation of Delillo’s work. The tongue twisting lengthy segments of dialogue literally torn from the pages are daringly faithful. The uninitiated perhaps will be left dumbfounded by the bamboozling of such intelligent jargon, others will find it refreshing and mesmerising. Whilst his directorial style remains intimate and precise, he certainly doesn’t shy away from the visual metaphors either. A particular highlight involving Pattinson facing up to Paul Giamatti’s antagonist Benno Levin, framed exquisitely within a wide angle shot emphasising the ever growing class divide between the rich and a disgruntled working class.
Overwhelming in its deconstruction of so many subject matters, it’s certainly too unusual and talky for the mainstream. For the more open-minded among us however, ‘Cosmopolis’ is an engrossing piece of cinema saturated in social resonance and intellect that deserves its intricacies to be deciphered.
Read more after the jump
From Static Mass Emporium
The very best films, the ones we tend to really love, inspire a blend of enjoyment and admiration. We feel the thrills of the plot whilst enjoying the acting, or the camerawork. In addition to this we’re often able to relate to the core values of the piece; extrapolating, correctly or not, the filmmaker’s themes and objectives. Their point. On occasion, however, a film’s creditsroll up the screen and we find ourselves confounded by something that was utterly engrossing, but at the same time, bewildering. And so to Cosmopolis.
Fully embracing the style of the source material, Cosmopolis is an utterly distancing and at times, plain weird affair. Whether this is in its sharp visuals, its stilted and strange dialogue delivery, its vignette structure, its purposely unrealistic CGI or its obscured meanings, we’re not being pulled in but forced away. This really struck me throughout both viewings and is, I think, central to setting up the character of Eric Packer right from the start.
Disguised behind his dark glasses, and spouting esoteric pseudo-intellectual philosophy, Robert Pattinson is magnetic as the young billionaire (much to my surprise). As he spends his day in the car, we’re shown a portrait of a man that’s distanced himself from reality. He inhabits a plain of existence where people don’t behave like those others on the street and as such represents the very likely disconnect between the 1% and the real world. Where we normally empathise with a protagonist because we understand what they feel, here Cronenberg wants the opposite; he’s trying to engender in us Eric’s sense of not feeling. We’re not necessarily supposed to get what he’s talking about when he asks questions like “But what happens to all the stretch limousines that prowl the throbbing city all day long? Where do they spend the night?”
There’s doubtless an awful lot more than can be said about Cosmopolis (even in this piece of mentioned things I’ve not been able to explore further), and I’m sure that there are myriad other, equally interesting readings of what it’s all about. All I know is that whilst it’s by no means prefect, it’s utterly spellbinding and I’m thoroughly looking forward to reading DeLillo’s book. Once that’s done, I can have another, more informed, crack at Cronenberg’s beguiling film and see if I can’t take even more meaning from it.
The revolt against Packer manifests in three forms. The first is a semi-violent protest of countless anarchists with a rat idol but, although replete with suicide, it is unable to penetrate his limousine. The second is that of art, in a bizarre scene of humiliation by a renegade pastry chef. It is a more memorable effort but the vandal’s desperate need to preserve and reproduce his one idea is unimpressive. Finally, there is the threat of assassination by an individual (Paul Giamatti) but it is merely the last cry of the lonely vengeful psychopath who wants nothing but to be noticed, his name remembered – but we never knew his name in the first place.
David Cronenberg has not independently authored a screenplay since Crash, and here with Cosmopolis, he retires the same theology of man and machine that he has so uniquely made his life’s work. Few directors could ever claim such transcendence. In Crash, previously the peak of Cronenberg’s artistic machinations, his characters are sustained by a sexual energy that can be harnessed through involvement in car accidents. Packer, however, is unmoved by the extremes of physical or sexual experience. He is unable to experience – as all knowledge is secondhand – his (our) world is devoid of new feeling or original thought.
Cosmopolis is revolutionary, even if it implies the futility of revolution. Capitalism is referred to as a “spectre” as it cannot be admonished with the reprimand of its benefactors. The phrase “a spectre haunts this world, the spectre of capitalism” is, in itself, a projection but it suggests something less ephemeral; it is that which can be digitised, mobilised, and gentrified – it is actually man’s artifice of eternity. Although promoted as an odyssey of war, violence and sex, the film’s terror is in its inactivity, it’s unresponsive, unflinching inertness. It is surely 2012’s apocalyptic masterpiece.