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Meditation about the world on finance and wealth,
This review is from: Cosmopolis (DVD)
Robert Pattison plays a role of 28 year old billionaire who has made his fortune playing the stock and currency market. Almost the entire movie is filmed inside of his long, stretched limo where he seems to spend most of his time: meeting his business partners, hookers, friends, random people. They talk about anarchy, money, information, art, music. It is almost as if this young man with so much money has nothing better to do but prove that anything and everything can be bought. As he plays the (stock) market, he suddenly decides to go across town and have a haircut in the old heighborhood where he grew up. The old barber happens to be his father's friend and that is how we learn that this billionaire's father died when he was only five years old. One cannot but wonder if his mathematical and methodical mind in an attempt to make sense of his fatherless childhood, prove that one can be successful (financially) even without male role model in his life.
However it seems that this young man has something that he cannot buy. His wife comes from old money and as crude and raw as he is, she is refined and cultured. They are at odds because they seem to live on the opposite ends of the world. He drives in a stretched limo, she takes a NYC cab around the city; his entertainment are random people that enter his limo while her world is solitude in the local bookstore; he is busy making love to women who are of questionable character while his wife goes to the theatre, elegant and quiet and the only hint of her distress is her attempt to smoke a cigarette which she does not even seem to enjoy. His life is life of excess, her life is more measured, calm and orderly. Their devide becomes apparent when he admits to her he is about to loose all of his money to the bet he made on the stock market against chinese yuen currency. She quietly offers him money so he can start fresh - in exchange for freedom (read divorce) he seems to crave. It is only the expression on his face that makes viewer realize that this man would do anything to keep his wife, but the nature of their relationship give a whole new meaning to the term "irreconcilable differences". For her, it is easy to explain her stand. She says to him: "I am not indifferent. That makes me susceptable to pain."
As film progresses it almost seems that main character's internal turmoil is expressing itself with riots happening outside of his limo. No one can make sense of it and other than anger and despair and resentment towards polarity that surrounds all protagonist - nothing particularly original. It almost took me an hour before the film grabbed my full attention. One action that the main character does changes the entire course of story and of course his destiny. Seemingly with nothing left to loose: his marriage is over, his money is lost, he committs an act that is a statement that he gives up on his life; he finally decides to confront his stalker (played by Paul Giamatti) and that encounter I found somewhat disappointing. However, the end will let you hanging and you can make you own choices on how all of these characters end up. Subtle references to Erik Satie, Mike Rothko, anarchy and monks who set themselves to fire in order to make a (political or ideological) statement all leads us to one conclusion. Here is a 28 year old man who has it all with nothing else left to prove. For a man like that is there anything left in life he has not done, felt or experienced yet? You be the judge.