Showing posts with label robert pattinson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label robert pattinson. Show all posts

6 November 2012

Cosmopolis DVD Review

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There’s some kind of law about using the word existential when reviewing a David Cronenberg movie, you sort of have to really. So let’s get that out the way early on. What we’re dealing with here are some very grand themes including sex, death, capitalism, emotional dysfunction and detachment.

Based on the 2003 Don DeLillo novel, Cosmopolis sees Eric Packer moving through streets of an unstable Manhattan, shielded inside his cork lined limo for a haircut he’s convinced he needs. All the while his downfall is being engineered behind the scenes by the very capitalist system he helped to create? Or is it?

The film itself has a futuristic retro feel to it; the towering glass and chrome of Manhattan take on a menacing look as Packer slides through the streets in the silent cocoon of his soundproofed limo.

Better known for his visceral horror, Cronenberg here manages to invoke a kind of creeping dread that permeates the film. The only difference this time is that the danger is intangible, created by the likes of Packer those like him who have been responsible for the financial crash of the capitalist system. They are the de facto rulers of the world, as they control the data on which capitalism rests. Conversely, the world outside of his window erupts into violent riots by the disenfranchised masses her helped create. It’s a startling juxtaposition.

Pattinson’s performance is superb. His bleak detachment from reality is icy cold yet he manages to get the nuances just right. He could so easily have overdone this character and descended into a caricature of manic ticks and gestures. There’s also a long list of cameos from some of the greats as they enter and exit Packer’s life, leaving behind them some exposition as they go.

In summary, Cosmopolis is an extremely cerebral film; heavy on the dialogue with a gnawing sense of dread you can’t quite put your finger on. It often treads a fine line between film as social commentary and entertainment but for the most part doesn’t take itself too seriously.

This is Cronenberg back to his best.

Vikki Mysercough

★★★★

Rating:15
DVD/BD Release Date: 12 November 2012 (UK)
Directed By:David Cronenberg
Cast: Robert Pattinson, Juliette Binoche, Sarah Gadon, Paul Giamatti, Kevin Durand
Buy Cosmopolis:Blu-ray/DVD

16 June 2012

Short Back And Sides Please: COSMOPOLIS Review

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★★★★★

Cosmopolis is the latest film from David Cronenberg and he is back with a bang literally. Cronenberg has in recent years has went a little more conventional with Eastern Promises and the more recent A Dangerous Method. This is fine and good but they lack the weirdness of earlier films like Videodrome, Dead Ringers, Naked Lunch and Crash. A quote that explains my indifference to newer Cronenberg is by Hunter S. Thompson “it never got weird enough for me”. I do absolutely love his masterful A History of Violence but besides that it really hasn’t. It’s based on the novel by Don DeLillo, which I literally finished 2 hours before I saw the film.

Cosmopolis tells the story of a day in the life Robert Packer (Robert Pattinson) who is a multi billionaire at least who lives in a massive apartment complex. He simply wants a haircut but the US president in town, a dead rapper’s funeral is in operation, somebody wants him dead and anti-capitalist protests. These events are making New York City even harder to get drive in his huge limo than normal but he insists on having his haircut to the annoyance of his security.

The film is an odyssey into the mind of a man literally on the edge on his sanity who is deliberately losing billions betting against the yen. He meets many people on the way and has numerous sexual encounters with different women on his odyssey. Packer is man without any emotional connection to anything except possibly this special barbershop he must go too.

The film will divide audiences like no other since Southland Tales. A lot of people will simply not get what Cronenberg is trying to do with Cosmopolis, it’s basically a piece of science fiction without any SF. One of the reasons Robert Pattinson may have been casted as Packer is because he is basically a vampire. One of the key lines in the film is “your already dead” which is Parker is a nutshell. Packer is the image of capitalism psychosis in work, he has no interest in money at this point he just buys stuff cause he can. He risks his clients and his money simply for the fact he can. This makes in a way a lot more similar to something in tone to Crash which deals with a similar themes (lack of emotion connection and a world and people on the brink of self destruction) and is also a sci-fi film but not. They both also feature the majority of the scene time in a car and Croneberg is a well-known gearhead.

The film is extremely relevant especially in the aftermath of a post-2008 financial crisis world even the novel was written in 2003. Parker is deliberately committing financial suicide because he doesn’t care anymore and is already dead so to speak. There are anti-capitalist protests, which Parker gets caught up in and in a way Parker gets off on this. He wants the destruction of mankind and also he meets his match to speak figuratively and literally in the climax of the film.

The film and specifically the limo is utterly artificial looking throughout which certainly brings to mind some of the artificial backgrounds of eXistenZ. The background of NYC looks otherworldly and utter fake but this is the point, it’s deliberately alienating. Pattinson’s world in his limo (he works there, he fucks there, he eats there) and most of the film’s action takes place there.

The language will also turn a lot of people off. Like so many things in the film it’s deliberately off putting, it’s very wordy and very unrealistic but that’s the intent and it’s taken pretty much word for word from the novel. It’s about people isolated from the outer world and become increasing interested in themselves and themselves only and after all he wants the most vain thing a damn haircut.

Robert Pattinson is quite astonishing the role as Packer, he is ice cold and inhumane in the best possible way and almost alien like as in David Bowie in The Man Who Fell To Earth. He perfectly captures the psychosis of a man who has everything but wants nothing except he has a death wish. The supporting cast is very fine throughout with Paul Giamatti and Juliette Bincohe as highlights.

I don’t think the film will have a wide audience but very Cronenberg films have one except for The Fly. Twilight fans will obviously not understand it one bit and will be turned off by which was evident in my screening I attended. Critics have been completely mixed even though a lot have praised Pattinson’s turn. I think it’s a truly fascinating but deliberately artificial film about a man’s descend into pure unadulterated nihilism but no the cheerful entertaining nihilism of Fight Club but something much more sinister. After a string of very fine films recently I think I may have found an early contender for film of the year. A lot will hate but if you can get what Cronenberg is trying to do you will be engrossed even with it's deliberately alienating cinematic devices.

Ian Schultz


Rating:15
UK Release Date: 15 June 2012
Directed By:David Cronenberg
Cast: Robert Pattinson, Juliette Binoche, Paul Giamatti, Sarah Gadon
Cosmopolis Official UK Trailer Published via LongTail.tv