Taking place in the not-too-distant future, David Cronenberg's Cosmopolis tells the story of Eric Packer, a young successful financial guru who is king of the world. Almost the entire film follows Eric as he is chauffeured through Manhattan, watching the world crumble around him, as he slowly begins to lose his fortune due to a financial collapse. Cosmopolis is a provacative, complex experienced that is full of ideas, albeit a little muddled at times. Eric Packer's stone cold persona is particularly intoxicating - his lack of emotion and feeling towards the outside world effectively personifies how many feel about the upper class. For most of the film I was engrossed by the dreamy landscape which Cronenberg's direction and visual design created, though I felt disconnected or disjointed from the film much like Eric Packer is from humanity. All that changes during the last third of the film when Packer is confronted by Paul Giammattic's character, a poor, disenchanted soul intent on assassinating Packer. The exchange between the two is a beautiful analogy for the Class struggle in Capitalism, showing the inability in both the rich and poor have in understanding one and others intentions or motivations. We see the contradictions in both the rich and poor philosophies. Packer lacks sympathy, feeling or understanding while Giammati's character simply blames everyone but himself for his own failings. Ultimately the film makes an argument that both are needed to create balance in the world, showing how these outliers are a necessary component of society. Cosmopolis is a strange, dreamy experience that is confusing, stimulating and quite funny. Although it is oddly paced and tonally flat at times, it is still well worth being seen.
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