A rich kid goes cross-town for a trim,
With news that someone’s out to kill him,
Pattinson’s no wussy teen,
But shows flare on the screen,
Cronenberg gore is kept pretty slim.
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The best thing about this film is that it is bound to disappoint a million Twilight fans. I actually have a lot more respect for Robert Pattinson now, just for shattering his ‘pretty-boy’ image with this role.
In one scene, his character stands in a moving limousine getting his prostate examined, while having a serious business conversation with a female co-worker. Needless to say, it’s quite uncomfortable to watch.
But his performance is somewhat admirable... almost likeable. He is introduced as a snooty rich kid demanding to get a haircut, and yet as the film unravels, so does the character. He slowly descends into his own mad world of self-sabotage and isolation. Before long, Pattinson starts to have fun with the character, demonstrating the same psychotic magnetism that Christian Bale showed us in American Psycho.
The story revolves around a rich billionaire, Eric Packer (Pattinson), who asks his limo driver to take him across town for a haircut. While driving, Eric meets with various characters, including several business associates, other associates, his wife, doctors, security guards, protestors, mourners, family friends and teachers.
The chance encounters with his wife (played by newcomer Sarah Gadon) are probably the most interesting, as is the lengthy exchange he has with someone else (I won’t give it away) in the final scene.
The dialogue is what makes this film so interesting. While it’s sometimes hard to work out what they’re talking about most of the time, the delivery is quick and captivating thanks to the talented cast.
The supporting ensemble features many familiar faces, which is surprising considering how little screen time most of them get. There’s Jay Baruchel, Samantha Morton, Kevin Durand and Juliette Binoche (although I have no idea what her relationship is to the main character).
The worst thing about this film is that I’m not really sure I understand it. Most of what happens relates back to the opening quote in some way or another, “A rat becomes the unit of currency”. But honestly, I don’t really get that either.
I think everyone who watches this film will have a minor understanding of statement David Cronenberg is trying to make, but it’s not until drinking a beer and discussing it afterwards that you can really appreciate it (a reference that will make more sense after seeing it).
Cosmopolis is playing at selected theatres.