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Film / Cosmopolis

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Greed is, in this case...weird.

Erik: Look, I'm trying to make contact in the most ordinary ways. To see and hear, to notice your mood, your clothes. This is important. Are your stockings on straight? I understand this at some level. How people look, what people wear.
Elise: How they smell. Do you mind my saying that? Am I being too wifely? I'll tell you what the problem is. I don't know how to be indifferent. I can't master this, and it makes me susceptible to pain. In other words, it hurts.
Erik: This is good. We're like people talking. Isn't this how they talk?

Cosmopolis is a 2012 drama film directed by David Cronenberg, based on the 2003 novel of the same name by Don DeLillo.

Hermetically sealed in his high-tech stretch limo, financial whiz-kid/gazillionaire Erik Packer (Robert Pattinson) is intent on three things: making a killing on the financial markets, talking his new high society wife into having sex with him, and—most importantly—getting a haircut from his favorite barber on the other side of town. None of these go as planned: the markets kill his finances, he has sex with every woman but his wife, and a series of traffic jams, riots, and promises to assassinate him slow Erik's commute to an agonising crawl.

This film provides examples of:

  • Absurdly-Long Limousine: Exaggerated and Discussed.
  • Actor Allusion: "You're like someone that has died already, a hundred years ago."
  • Arc Symbol: Rats. Packer and Chin joke about rats becoming a world currency, anarchists fling dead rats at customers in a restaurant, and rioters in the street carry a papier-mache rat.
  • Auto Erotica
  • Bolivian Army Ending: The movie ends with the assassin standing behind Packer about to shoot him, before the Smash to Black.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Averted; Eric fires the last of his five rounds into his own hand.
  • Big Eater: Downplayed, as it's never mentioned outright and Erik himself isn't fat, but he's eating in almost every scene he's in, and much more so than anyone else present.
  • Conspicuous Consumption
  • Creepy Physical: Packer gets a prostate exam. In his limo. While simultaneously having a conversation with his (female) chief of finance.
  • Cryptic Conversation/One Scene, Two Monologues: In spades.
  • Death by Materialism: The Smash to Black ending suggests this will happen.
  • Dissonant Serenity: Packer throughout the entire movie. The scene where the anarchists are protesting outside the limo and his conversation with the assassin stand out though.
    • Averted in one scene, where he learns that his favorite rapper has died. He breaks down and cries.
  • Expy: "The Pastry Assassin" character is based on Belgian writer and provacateur Noël Godin, who pies famous people (e.g., Bill Gates, Jean-Luc Godard, and French president Nicolas Sarkozy) as a form of political protest.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: All of the events in this film take place over the course of a single day.
  • Groin Attack: Packer kicks the Pastry Assassin in the groin for hitting him with the pie. He seems not to mind.
  • Ironic Echo: Eric says "Nancy Babich" to his pistol before going into Benno's apartment.
  • It Must Be Mine!: At one point, Packer is intent on purchasing the Rothko Chapel, despite being told that it's not for sale at any price.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: Kendra the bodyguard is clothed in the trailer when she aims the stun gun at Packer. She most assuredly is not clothed in the film.
    • It must also be pointed out that the trailers are advertising a very different film than the one that actually hit theaters.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Packer's attempt to manipulate the Chinese currency markets wipes out most of his personal fortune, and possibly others' fortunes as well.
  • Not With the Safety On, You Won't: Packer's bodyguard boasts that his pistol has a coded, voice-activated safety. Packer persuades him to demonstrate how it works. Unfortunately for the bodyguard, he does it when the gun's in Packer's hand. Cue No Range Like Point-Blank Range Boom, Headshot!.
  • Phrase Catcher: Several characters repeat lines of dialogue multiple times, most notably Elise who repeats "I understand none of it" or some variant at the end of each of her lines.
  • Pie in the Face: Packer is pied by a protestor called "The Pastry Assassin".
  • Pop-Star Composer: The Canadian band Metric collaborated with Cronenberg's long-time composer Howard Shore on several of the soundtrack's songs.
  • Potty Emergency: Averted: Packer is seen urinating into the limo's pull-out sink.
  • Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense: Packer is so completely obsessed with wealth and business that he has no idea how to connect with other people, or even act like a normal human being. Just look at the page quote, for God's sake!
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!
  • Static Stun Gun: After Packer has sex with his female bodyguard, she teases shooting him with her taser.
  • 20 Minutes into the Future: Possibly, with the advanced guns and anarchism being commonplace.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: While Eric and his chief of finance are talking, rioters vandalize Eric's limo, carry a giant rat past the window and rock it back and forth. Neither of them comment on this at all.
  • You Have Failed Me: A possible explanation for why Packer kills his bodyguard is that he failed to protect Packer from the pastry chef.