When one thinks of the term “artist” one’s mind generally leans toward images a painter. While that image fits, the artist as painter is just one type of artist. In the film world, writers and directors can be considered artists, too. Instead of using a brush and a canvass, the director and writer use cameras sets, and script pages as their canvasses. And just as the work of visual artists isn’t for everyone, nor is writer/director David Cronenberg’s new adaptation of author Don DeLillo’s book, Cosmopolis. It would be lying to say that this movie is easily accessible by any means. That’s especially the case for those who have not read DeLillo’s book. And even for those who have read it, there are differences. It’s both because of those differences, and because of Cronenberg’s own ambitious vision that this adaptation of Cosmopolis likely won’t appeal to all audiences.
While Cosmopolis does have its negatives, it also has its positives. The movie’s cinematography is an example of both the positives and the negatives surrounding this art flick. The camera angles used throughout the movie’s near two hour run time help to heighten the story’s tension in its more powerful moments. Those more powerful moments also include some of Eric’s (Robert Pattinson) conversations with those individuals whom he encounters on his cross-city journey. On the other hand though, sometimes, the quick cuts can be enough to leave some viewers feeling dizzy and confused as to what they’ve just seen. So to that extent, the cinematography behind Cosmopolis is something of a mixed bag.
Just as much of a mixed bag as the cinematography here is the general story itself. On the one hand, those who have read the book may be left wanting more in some cases as there were some elements of the book that were left out of the movie. But in its defense, Cosmopolis isn’t the first movie to every make changes in adapting the written word to the screen. This is always a delicate exercise. There are those who are so hardcore about adaptations that even the slightest difference could lead to anger and outcry. For those who have never read the book though, the movie’s general story may leave them feeling just as confused and dizzy even without its cinematography. It may be confusing at points, but those who really give this story a chance will see that in essence, it is a commentary of sorts centered on everything that society in general has become. Keeping that in mind, one will understand why this is one of those movies that takes more than one watch to really take in everything that it offers. It’s one of those movies that really require a viewer’s full attention to fully comprehend and appreciate it at any level. Given that chance, this art film will still remain very much a niche film. But audiences will have at least a new understanding of it and this perhaps even a different take on it, too.