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Cosmopolis (Blu-ray Review)

23 Jan, 2013 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Box Office $0.76 million
$24.98 DVD, $29.98 Blu-ray
Rated ‘R’ for some strong sexual content including graphic nudity, violence and language.
Stars Robert Pattinson, Juliette Binoche, Paul Giamatti, Samantha Morton, Sarah Gadon, Mathieu Amalric, Kevin Durand, Jay Baruchel.

The lavish excess of corporate success and societal indifference may play to populist rhetoric, but as the main theme to an eccentric drama — Cosmopolis directed by David Cronenberg — it’s a downright challenge.

Cronenberg has made a career showcasing offbeat sides of humanity (see Naked Lunch, Crash), and in Cosmopolis, Robert Pattinson (“Twilight Saga” fame) plays Eric Packer, a consciously removed young billionaire who’s made his money manipulating the financial markets and people.

Thanks to people like him, the world is in the toilet, the masses separated by the 1% who own everything and the 99% who apparently own just the clothes on their backs. And Packer couldn’t care less. He just wants a haircut from a barber on the other side of Manhattan.

During the next 109 minutes, the viewer is subjected to selected cuts of Packer in his limo talking to disparate people and employees in his life while being driven across town — escorted by his personal security attaché Torval (Kevin Durand) who is running on foot next to the car.

These Q&A sessions — at times witty (as with a wife who won’t have sex with him) and other times visually engaging as when Packer gets physical (and naked) with another security detail (Patricia McKenzie) — appear disjointed and offer little to the overall pacing or understanding of the storyline, which is based on a novel by Don DeLillo.

In short, Cosmopolis offers a bleak view on society made all the more painful if you actually sit through and watch it.

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