Cosmopolis (2012)

A financial crash can be a killer.

Eric Packer, played by Robert Pattinson (Twilight, Maps to the Stars) is a billionaire who has yet reached the age of 30. A career as a currency speculator has given him riches beyond his wildest dreams. Eric has everything and can buy whatever he wants, whenever he wants. Life has ceased being a challenge and appears to have lost its meaning for the young billionaire.

Eric sits by idly as his luxury car transports him slowly through the traffic jams of Manhattan. Extra delays to the traffic caused by the visiting President of the United States and the funeral of a famous rapper. Eric is cooly detached from his surroundings despite it becoming clear that during the day, huge financial losses have been sustained.

In a dream-like fashion, we see Packer meeting his wife Elsie, played by Sarah Gadon (Antiviral, Dracula untold) where they simultaneously meet in several places for coffee before Eric makes an unsuccessful pass at Elsie. This leads to Eric having sex with two other people causing his wife to separate from the marriage.

During this original Limo ride, a large group of protestors, blaming bankers for the financial crisis harass Eric and vandalize his car. As Eric learns that someone is trying to kill him he remains detached from the information, unfazed by the news.

Cosmopolis plays as if the viewer is watching the dreams of Eric Packer, slowly watching his life unravel whilst Packer does very little to correct its course and even contributes to this downfall. Based on the Cosmopolis novel by Don DeLillo it is an interesting adaptation where director David Cronenberg (A History of Violence) brings the complex themes and characters to life. Viewers will be continually on edge as the plot develops and the unraveling of Eric Packer’s life continues into a dangerous series of events. 

The viewer will question what level of sympathy they have for the character of Eric, after all, he is the living embodiment of what everyone aspires to have. Access to huge amounts of wealth and anything he could want.

However what is apparent that none of this holds any further allure for Eric; the world around him feeling distant and empty. As viewers, we can speculate that the threat of assassination to be quite welcome and either bring some excitement back into his life or at least remove him from it.