I’ll be honest, I gave this film a shot when it came out, before I had gotten a chance to even get into Cronenberg and I’m pretty sure I shut it off after 10 minutes. I was just too young for it and I feel like now with my age and perception (or cemented lack of perception) of the world, it really speaks to me.
I can definitely see the genius in the message or messages Cronenberg is trying to send and I really feel a general sense of disconnect, which I believe was his intention. If there’s any horror to be found in this film, it’s in this sickening feeling of disconnect. It’s a disconnect in our economy and social class but an even more serious disconnect on a person to person level.
The current state of the US really proves this and for all the people saying the world is fucked right now, well, it kind of is. You can look to the past and see a lot of protesting , pleading for the universe to balance itself out but in this decade, we’re injecting technology into this dynamic. That’s something Cronenberg really loves to focus on and he even romanticizes it in Cosmopolis, describing the glow of screens to be alluring.
I read the other day about interesting phenomenons or whatever and one really caught my attention, mostly because it initially seemed out of place. It was about the idea that it’s almost impossible to take in and appreciate the amount of work that goes into creating everything we see and touch on a day-to-day basis. You can have all the information and data available but that almost makes you even more disconnected from it.
The film is almost entirely shot within the confines of a limousine which has to be intentionally claustrophobic. The dialogue is strangely paced and minimally cut, giving a theater like experience. I’ll be honest, people absolutely do not speak in real like as they do in this film and if it weren’t for Cronenberg’s established place in film, I might not view it as intentional.
The story itself is minimal and confusing, this seems to be the breaking point for most people but I really loved the ambiguous nature of it all. Characters are highly metaphorical and their chosen words are done so with excessive care.
It’s a destined divisive film all around but I found it to be fantastic. With technology and social media, there’s an argument to be said that even the people who go out of their way to manifest protest, don’t actually give a shit about anyone but themselves. If these existential themes seem pretentious, I can’t say this film will really be for you. However, if you’re able to get lost easily in an extreme slow burn, you might just find this to be as unsettling and rewarding as I did.