By Angela Espinoza, Arts Editor
The fullness of his brain second only to his hair, David Cronenberg is undoubtedly one of the most awesome Canadians ever. A master of sci-fi and horror, Cronenberg has since reestablished himself with films like A History of Violence (2005) and Eastern Promises (2007). However, his latest project, Cosmopolis, has trailed far off course from the filmmaker’s fairly clean track record.
Taking place in the “not too distant future,” Cosmopolis (based on the 2003 Don DeLillo novel) spends a day in the life of Eric Packer (Robert Pattinson), a multi-billionaire in his late 20’s. Throughout the day, Packer sits in his lavish, high-tech limousine, travelling across New York City for a haircut. Along the way he bumps into his beautiful but unhappy wife (Sarah Gadon), has several affairs, and discusses the current economic state with various friends. During this time, the streets are jammed due to a highly publicized visit by the president, a funeral for a rap artist, and a violent occupy-like protest.
While Cosmopolis could not have come out at a better time, the film in the end is a mess. Driving across New York with Robert Pattinson, even with all the chaos in the background, really is as bland as it sounds. The dialogue is bloated with metaphors that perhaps looked good on paper, but are abysmal when spoken by this largely uninteresting cast.
The most glaring issue is that Packer was meant to be a brilliant albeit troubled man, as it’s him we follow for two hours. Unfortunately, the slurs of this weak cast (save of course for Paul Giamatti, who plays the only interesting character) attempt to build up the film’s climactic ending, but instead Cosmopolis just comes off as mind-numbingly confusing and claustrophobic.