Cosmos ½

[9]

I try to reserve my half-star scores (sub-11) for films that have either been compiled with an offensive incompetence, brandish a purposeless contempt for its audience, or lack anything remotely resembling artistic merit and/or ambition. And I will look you dead in the eyes and tell you that COSMOS isn’t guilty of any of those transgressions, not a one. If anything, there’s a large chunk of talent involved, nothing actively insulting for its viewers, and plenty of passion-laden, vulgar auteurism at work. But my fucking god, this has to have been one of the worst viewing experiences I’ve had. Surprised I stuck it out til the end, honestly, but I was foolishly strung along with false hope in Zulawksi—knowing the name and at least having seen POSSESSION, aware of his aptitude as a moody filmmaker—that he’d somehow bring all this mind-numbing silliness to a sharp point, that there’d be one scene where everything would just suddenly *click* for me and all my prior suffering would be rewarded with a sobering moment of clarity. But nope. This was an absolute misery from start to finish, a hysterical mess, a nonstop cacophony of indiscernible tone and intention. No disrespect to Zulawksi, because I know he’s got more raw skill than this, but what I saw was something I’d expect from a freshman film student who’s just finished binging the filmographies of David Lynch and Nobuhiko Obayashi but sadly lacks the intangible faculty that makes those filmmakers’ imaginative forces really come to live. COSMOS is a flailing fish, desperately gasping in the absence of water. Hanging pigeons, scattershot novelism, uncomfortable facial defects, overzealous roommates, bat-shit mothers, nonsensical fathers, and a whole lot of mindless yelling. A supposed look at insanity, but all it did was drive me fucking insane.