Also read: Blood. Music. Ryan.
Directed and written by David Cronenberg
Based on a novel by Don DeLillo
★ Robert Pattinson, Juliette Binoche, Sarah Gadon
Obviously, Cosmopolis is a film that causes opinions to differ. It is theatric and filled with complex dialogue and ambiguities, and there was a moment where I could have chosen to think, "This is it. I'm out". But I decided not to. Mainly because the introduction sequence was so classy.
Classy is the right word. It describes this film very well. I read that some people found it stylish but in its content too self-indulgent and pretentious, but I don't agree. While watching the movie I considered this opinion, but was immediately captured by the story itself again, deciding I wouldn't jump on either side of the fence before finishing the movie. It's like certain books that you find hard to get through; the dialogue is tiring and confusing, and you just don't "get" what it's supposed to tell you. Then the revelation when you're finished and can't get this work of art out of your mind, you keep dwelling on it, certain scenes and underlying thoughts keep popping up in your head. You realize the works value.
I have experienced this with many books (Banville's The Sea, Goethe's The Sorrows of Young Werther and so on), and it sometimes makes me read a bad book that doesn't turn out to be great in the end. However, it's all worth it, and it's also a reason to finish every movie you start. You won't know what you've missed until you see it.
Did I "get" Cosmopolis, then? It's hard to say. Perhaps I didn't get all of it, but my feeling is that I got the overall context and that I got food for thought. I "got" that it's not Drive, although there are certain similarities between the two pictures. They both centre around a somewhat heroic male main character that is drawn into a circle of violence out of various reasons.
The Cosmopolis protagonist Eric isn't as heroic as the Driver of course. In many ways he's the complete opposite of the struggling underdog: a lavish billionaire. But when it comes to the character, I don't think they are too different from each other: fearless and insensible in many ways, good-looking and overly smart. Both have a soft side, too - for the Driver it's his love for a woman, for Eric it's his love and at the same time hate for life. This is of course my personal interpretation of his character.
Cosmopolis also got me a new song to write about (expect to read something about K'Naan's "Mecca" soon). It moved me. The song moved me, the scene moved me. And there were female characters too, that being said I related to Eric and not to them. Maybe that's why it worked.
The film moved me.