Robert Pattinson, Jay Baruchel, Paul Giamatti, Kevin Durand, Juliette Binoche, Samantha Morton, Sarah Gadon, Mathieu Amalric, K'naan, Emily Hampshire and Patricia McKenzie.
Is this the year of unfilmable books being brought to screen? i think so. I'll begin my review by saying that this will be the most underrated, overlooked and under-appreciated movie of the year but it definitely doesn't deserves all that. Cosmopolis is not a masterpiece, its largely an abstract piece of art that many people won't even bother to understand or embrace. Though i was fascinated to see this movie popping up on many top 10 charts like Sight & Sound 2012 Top 10, Canadian Top 10 and one of those big lists from European Critics. Cosmopolis is directed by David Cronenberg who is known for making visceral, bizarre and maddening movies like these. It is based on a novel of the same name by Don DeLillo. Robert Pattinson, the Twilight star plays the central character of Eric Parker who drives across Manhattan in his white limousine on his way to cut his hair. On his way, there are numerous traffic jams and it takes a whole day for him to reach the shop. He has interactions with several people that are a part of his personal or mostly professional life. The traffic jams are caused by the visit of US President and the funeral of some famous musician, Eric is one of his biggest fans. Eric has recently married, his wife Elise Shifrin (Gadon) tries to not let him near her as she wants to save her energy for the work. I know, from the summary it sounds weird and it is, but there is something about this movie that really compels you towards it and believe me when i say that the weirdness somehow gets effective after a while.
What happens most of the time in this movie is characters interacting with each other about topics like capitalism, currency, market rates, the future etc in some very specific terms that most of the people wouldn't really understand. I wont say that this movie has a specific plot, it doesn't rely on that but it is a movie where characters goes through a series of conversation in a limo not worried about the outside world and what is really happening right now but they merely speculate. I mean there are riots and chaos happening outside on the roads as we can see from the limo but Eric seems cut off from all that. He is a cold, stiff, hard on surface kind of man who has everything but deep down inside, he is ready to burst out any minute. The feel and look this movie has is very cult, midnight noir-ish and its something that i have never seen before. It presents us with a highly philosophical look at our current time and what future might holds for us. It shows us how human beings changes rapidly, the shifts that are caused by the external environment that effects us. The time we spend in limo starring at the crazy people of the insane world that is shown, the input we get about the situations through other people who interact with Eric tries to tell us a possible future we might live in.
There is a little time spend outside, i wish there was just a bit more time spend outside in the movie. Though Cronenberg's superb direction is able to hold the tension inside the limo, he is able to maintain a flow of dialogue without getting it too dense. Outside is when we see the real danger, the sense of being in a world that you rarely know existed before your eyes even though it was always there. If only Eric was able to look beyond the money, pleasures and comfort of a limo that may very well present as a metaphor for a womb that Eric is hiding in. It protects him from the outside world, once he mingles in it, he becomes a part of it which leads to a finale that will shock you. Eric is basically a self-destructive man, the movie slowly moves towards that, he becomes more and more darker and dangerous. I would say that Robert Pattinson did a really nice job in capturing the stiffness of the character. The shift in his nature and emotions towards the end is something that Pattinson is easily able to adapt and i think it was a really good choice by Cronenberg to give this role to him. Paul Giamatti who has a very important role but only towards the end of the movie delivers a superb performance. There is Juliette Binoche who plays Eric's art consultant and with whom he has an affair in the limo. She plays a very sexually charged and somewhat desperate woman while being far off from the usual cliche. There is Samantha Morton who plays Eric's chief advisor, her segment with Eric for me was the most confusing since i couldn't understand a word they were saying, hardcore economical talk.
Cosmopolis shows the destructive power of wealth and its impact on society. The entire movie has a dream-like feel to it and it really works a lot in the movie. In the end, for most of the audience the experience would be quite difficult and will test their endurance level. Many people will think its deeply philosophical talks are too pretentious and exaggerated. Cosmopolis is a weird movie about the weird world we live in with weird people who does weird things to ultimately make them look even more weird. The screenplay could have been a bit more liberated since at some points it feels like there is too much book and not much cinema in the movie. I liked Cosmopolis, it was a different experience for me and i wont hesitate one bit to watch it once again.