I almost walked out of this movie. Now, I want a copy of the script.
“Cosmopolis” is a writer’s movie. It’s a commentary on modern life (sex, violence, morals). Robert Pattinson plays Erik Packer, a currency trader who thinks he has everything figured out. David Cronenberg is the writer (who adapted his script from the novel). He is also the director.
Much of the movie is set in a slow-moving, eerily silent limo. Characters pop in and out. Packer gets out of the limo to eat and tryst. Eventually he reaches his destination—a barber shop—and moves on to a climactic encounter with a man named Benno, played by Paul Giamatti. (The exact relationship between Erik and Benno is unclear. If one is looking for symbolism, one might take him to be Erik’s conscience.)
“Cosmopolis” is filled with scriptwriter sound bites. Like: “Life is too contemporary,” “We die everyday,” “Time is a corporate asset now” and “Violence needs a verdict; it needs a purpose.” While some are effective and memorable, others are throwaways.
Pattinson, who is onscreen throughout the movie, doe not overact, thankfully. He brings an appropriate nonchalance to this strange role He also brings his “Twilight” fame which will guarantee a few ticket sales.
This is not an easy movie to watch. It has the tempo of an old radio drama with many long speeches. Those “Twilight” fans may take a pass though when word gets out that this is a challenging, tedious movie.
How tedious? Well, critic Roger Ebert, in his review of “Cosmopolis,” wrote: “You couldn’t pay me to see it again.” I won’t go that far—I believe that any movie with Giamatti in the cast is worth checking out—but I’d prefer to read the script before watching the movie again.