Where do all the limousines go at night? What happens inside those thousands of long black limousines streaking across the busy streets of New York City? Do we want to know? What do the filthy, spoiled rich really talk about?
These seem to be some of the questions posed by David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis. But under the rather intense dialogue with very little action drives a film commenting on the collapse of capitalism and the hidden violence of the tech sector.
Robert Pattison plays Eric Packer, a youthful billionaire who has made a fortune with his tech company. Like many spoiled rich people in movies, Packer is also bored silly. There could be a world changing event happening and it wouldn’t phase Packer’s protective shell. So on one of the most insane days in New York, Packer decides that he wants to go to the other side of the city for a haircut. His right hand man (Kevin Durand) warns him off it since the president is in town and there is an assassination plot so security in the city is crazy.
The film follows Packer as he drifts through the chaos of New York while being tightly secured in his limo. He leaves the limo when he sees some of interest one being his muse (Sarah Gabon) and others join him for his journey (Jay Baruchel, Samantha Morton and Juliette Binoche).
Like Pattison’s character, Cronenberg has served up a very non-cinematic and impenetrable film. It will leave many audiences impotent with just utter frustration. A nearly 24-hour limo ride is no really interesting to watch. No one likes rush hour even if you can have sex, debate the future of the world and have a prostate exam all during the journey.
What got me through this sea of dullness was my belief in Cronenberg. The man knows how to shock and play with your mind. So there just had to be something worth chewing in this mess.
One of key scenes in Packer’s odyssey is when the limo finally arrives at the barber shop. The limo is covered in graffiti and after Packer exits the vehicle, a man (Mathieu Amalric) slams a pie into his face. The scene seems to represent Packer’s shield finally dropping. Then the confessions in the barber shop seal the deal.
Even if you can translate all the layers, the movie itself isn’t really all that interesting. So many pointless characters and meetings. You’d think that it would all come to a terrifying climax. You’d be dead wrong, pardon the pun!
2.5 out of 5
So Says the Soothsayer