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“Cosmopolis” is a little different, just like Robert Pattinson’s prostate

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“Cosmopolis” is a little different, just like Robert Pattinson’s prostate

Wesley Emblidge

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I’m still not entirely sure what to make of “Cosmopolis,” but like a lot of films directed by David Cronenberg, I may never really be sure. This is a movie that almost seems intent on being strange and confusing for the majority of its runtime, It focuses more on what things mean and on expressing philosophy, rather than actually being a concise and enjoyable film. Sure, it brings up interesting ideas and has its moments, but it feels like something that would have been better adapted as an essay rather than a movie.

Robert Pattinson, in what seems to be an attempt to distance himself from the “Twilight” franchise, plays billionaire Eric Packer, who decides one day that he needs to get a haircut. To do so, must go all the way to other side of Manhattan. During the drive in his white stretch limo, Packer has a variety of business meetings, several sexual encounters, has a complete medical exam including a prostate examination where he learns his is asymmetrical, and even more. Over the course of this one day, Packer is losing money by the minute, and mentally devolves more and more.

When we start the film Packer is someone very disconnected from reality, the world around him, and everyone in it. As the day goes on, he tries to indulge in everything from food to sex to even pain, as his world crumbles around him. There are some Occupy-esque riots in New York that day, with people dressed up as rats running on top of cars and spray painting limos. There’s a lot going on in the film, with even more ideas being thrown around, but these ideas aren’t brought together well, at least not enough to keep one’s interest.

That’s the big problem with the movie, and the reason several people at my screening just left partway through. There’s not a lot onscreen to make us want to stay. Pattinson is good here but not nearly engaging enough to save the whole movie. Paul Giamatti shows up towards the end, and is easily the best part of the film. He has basically no chemistry with Pattinson, but then again almost no one else does for the whole film, and that’s somewhat the point.

Ultimately, there aren’t enough well-explored ideas or crazy fun Cronenberg-ian flairs going on here to really be enjoyable. It’s an interesting film to think about, and probably Pattinson’s best role to date, but it never manages to really become a fulfilling movie.

 

3/5 Stars

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“Cosmopolis” is a little different, just like Robert Pattinson’s prostate