Monday, 10 February 2014

Cosmopolis Review

On the surface, this seems like a film that I should of enjoyed. Directed by David Cronenburg, of the brilliant Scanners, and centering on a reflective young billionaire with some grandiloquent dialogue, it had all the makings of at least an interesting film. Unfortunately this film suffered from an unconvincing cast and a script that was too bloated for its claustrophobic setting of a stretch limo.

Boasting an impressive cast that included Paul Giamatti, Samantha Morton and Mathieu Amalric, this film was sadly and massively let down by its two leading actors, Sarah Gadon and of course, the main attraction!, Robert Pattinson of those Twilight movies. Although the protagonist Eric Packer is meant to be intellectually distant and emotionally unattached, Pattinson decides to play this by imitating an underused ventriloquist doll, blankly voicing the words that he seems to not understand. He is quite positively propped up by everybody else in this film, except Gadon, who plays his estranged wife Elise, who is also equally wooden. You really just don't believe the words coming out of his mouth, and although to some this may amplify the detachment of this youthful world weary character, it just accentuates to me how unsuitable Pattinson was for this part. To me, it seems like they dragged Pattinson into this film to garner a younger audience into a deceptive indie flick, like they did with The Bling Ring and Spring Breakers. I just hope they all went out and brought Naked Lunch afterwards.

The story itself is a slightly surreal day in the life of a young billionaire, who wants to travel across Manhattan to get a hair cut in an old fashioned barbers, only to have his trip majorly delayed by the Presidents visit, talkative sexual conquests, custard pies to the face and the inevitable murder. While broadly a comment on the impending capitalist collapse of the recent 'credit crunch', it seems much more "existentialism for douchebags", with the kind of idealised hedonistic character recently revisited for the umpteenth time by Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street. These men, without substantial character development, become trite and indulgent.

Suffering from the same script pains as The Councelor, it seems like too much dialogue was taken from Don DeLillo's original book with not enough space for the actors to interpret it. While the theme's and ideas that are brought up are interesting and well written, the movie is so crammed with dialogue that before you get a chance to digest what you've just heard, your onto another diatribe about the unrealistic chance of buying Rothko's Chapel with a prostitute. It feels bloated and underdeveloped, and suffers badly from its poor casting of its leading character. It's a disappointing 4/10 from me.

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