“Even when you self-destruct, you have to fail more, lose more, die more than others, stink more than others.”
For most of my adult life, I’ve possessed a simmering desire for self-destruction, a compulsion to throw everything away – abandon an exam, quit a job, alienate friends. I think it stems from wanting a fresh start, wanting the scary realness of losing everything that is familiar. It’s a false desire – I’m a middle-class white male with a support net that isn’t really going to let me fail.
Cosmopolis addresses this desire, though this only becomes apparent in the last half of the film. Cronenberg brings his signature cold detachment and taste for the visceral, dirty side of humanity to this tale of a 1%er (Robert Pattinson) on a journey in a limousine to get a haircut. The first half of the film is antiseptic, the limousine gliding ethereally through a plastic world, until the bubble bursts and grimy reality oozes in.
Cosmopolis is undeniably an interesting film, with an emphasis on stylized, analytical dialogue. Is it a good film? I’m not really sure. It’s not entertaining in the traditional sense, holding you at arm’s length for too long to really connect.