Release Date: Aug. 24, 2012
Running Time: 108 minutes
David Cronenberg takes us on a long and winding limo drive to nowhere with Cosmopolis, a dull and stagy head-scratcher that struggles to say anything meaningful about the relationship between commerce and technology. Miscast as a master of the universe, Twilight’s Robert Pattinson spends much of Cosmopolis stuck inside a limo in his bid to navigate Manhattan’s jam-packed streets. Pattinson may waste his—and our time—for the sake of getting his hair cut at a particular barbershop, but the journey across town is just as important as his destination, so Cronenberg wants us to believe. Pattinson conducts all his business inside the limo, which serves as an excuse for the likes of Juliette Binoche, Samantha Morton, and Jay Baruchel to take their turns as his passengers and engage in dreary and pretentious conversations about technology’s impact on both art and finance. The world around Pattinson seems to be crumbling—he’s lost billions in a single day, there’s a threat on his life, his wife won’t have sex with him, and protesters take to the street to voice their displeasure against Wall Street. He, of course, finds comfort in his limo. As with many past Cronenberg psychological dramas, Cosmopolis employs technology as an extension of the human mind and body. In the case of Cosmopolis, Pattinson treats this technology more than a toy rather than an indispensable part of him. With all the anarchy around Pattinson, it would be easy to view Cronenberg’s adaptation of Don DeLillo’s 2003 novel as a timely statement on the Occupy movement. Sadly, Cronenberg fails to make such a connection. The rioting that occurs is incidental to whatever existential crisis Pattinson is experiencing. Not that you would know that Pattinson is a man haunted by what he is and does. Pattinson sits stoned face in his limo and delivers his nonsensical lines of dialogue with blatant apathy. This comes back to haunt Cronenberg at the end of Cosmopolis as it falls to make us believe Pattinson’s climatic revelation or accept the uncharacteristic actions he takes. Then again, long before Pattinson reaches his destination, it’s obvious Cronenberg’s failed to take us where he wants us to go.
Aired: Aug. 23, 2012
Web site: http://cosmopolisthefilm.com/en