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Review: Cosmopolis

Having a combination of money, power and fame can have its privileges in this world. You can be in position to get loads of perks and you can even be a person with a certain level of authority in various areas of life. With all of that being said, there can also be a number of bad things that go with money, power and fame. If you or someone associated with you does something negative, it can make or the person look bad, embarrass you publicly or even turn you into a target. That's exactly what Robert Pattinson has to deal with now... in his movie Cosmopolis. What else would I be talking about?

In Cosmopolis, Pattinson plays a 28 year-old financial power broker named Eric Parker. He's known by everyone and is disliked by many of them in the turbulent financial times where he reigns supreme. He travels in a limousine that's heavily protected at all times against potential threats from frustrated protesters and other rivals who may pose possible danger. Throughout the day, Parker usually handles his business dealings in his limo, but today is different. Not only is he doing business and trying to remain protected there, but he's also looking over his marriage and his life to determine what he wants and where he's headed.

When Cosmopolis first opens up, the audience is tossed immediately into the film with no explanation of what's about to happen and really no build up. We meet Eric Parker (Pattinson) and his bodyguard Torval (Kevin Durand) standing on the sidewalk while engaging in a small but important conversation. After this brief scene, Eric moves to his limousine to start a day that will see him journey through Manhattan in search of a haircut at a specific barbershop.

Once we get into the limo, we almost never get out of it. This is just an estimation, but I'd say about that about 75 to 80% of the movie actually takes place inside the limousine. This is where most of his conversations take place and where most of the film's plot is laid out. This closed off setting allows almost nothing to happen on-screen and it's where the movie can shine or fall apart depending on how you feel about this approach.

Due to how Cosmopolis is structured, it relies on two things more than anything else and it's not even close. Those two things are the actors and the dialog that they share with one another. The actors here are asked to carry this film completely and nearly everything they do is verbal. There are no "bells and whistles" or rarely is there anything dynamic happening visually or physically. It's all suppressed and slow moving, so the film's reliance on the actors is paramount. That couldn't be anymore true in the case of Robert Pattinson.

Not only is Pattinson important, because he's in the lead role, he's important because he's in every scene. His character and his immediate surroundings set the tone for the style of the film and just about everything we see and hear about. We learn about who he is as a person and what his life is like on this very significant day. Parker is a very blunt and straight to the point guy who's also a bit on the pompous side.

It's a weird time for him and many of the people that we get a glimpse of throughout the duration of the film. That's because his world is falling apart around him and that can have an impact on countless people. He doesn't care as much as you might think though. He cares more about getting to the barber and getting some "lady love" before the day is out.

As I said earlier, dialog is also relied on in this movie. Saying that this film is dialog heavy would be a major understatement. Almost everything in this film is directly tied to the dialog and there's virtually no time for the film to stop and catch its breath before they go right back to talking. They even manage to use a hefty amount of dialog during one of the sex scenes. I don't mean dirty talk now, I'm talking about actual conversation. So much of Cosmopolis is talking and explaining every detail through conversation that you can close your eyes while you're watching it and get almost everything you need out of the film just on the words alone.

This is a flick that I would consider to be potentially more of a critic's movie than a fan's movie. As a critic, you may see the art and skill behind this Cronenberg film more than a fan who might just want to be entertained. I'm sure there are fans who might enjoy it and see it the same way, but I'd imagine that there will be a healthy amount of fans that would stand on the opposite side of the fence and see it as boring and uneventful. Cosmopolis is one of those films that's legitimately divisive and I can understand and see how people would view it from either side.

I found it to be decent at best and that's mainly because of its artistic style. The dialog, the way the characters behaved and even the dry and hollow feel that it all has makes it artistic from my point of view. It's certainly an awkward film that will make some people say "what the (insert the word of your choice hear)?" by the time it's over, but I appreciate what it is and how it's made. In describing it, I'd say that Cosmopolis is art without artistry, it's stylish without having any style, it's smart while being a little dumb and it's deep while purposely being extremely shallow. As a viewer, the entertainment value that you get will depend on what you look for in a movie. Whether you like it or not depends strictly on your taste, and I don't think there's a wrong answer either way.

Score: 3/5

Rating: R

Director: David Cronenberg

Robert Pattinson
Samantha Morton
Juliette Binoche
Sarah Gadon
Paul Giamatti
Kevin Durand
Matheiu Amalric
Jay Baruchel

Film Length: 108 minutes

Release Date: August 17, 2012

Distributor: Entertainment One

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