Edgar Cochran’s review published on Letterboxd:
An overwherlming demystification of the irrationality of man's political and economic systems in the side of the world that is inherently capitalist. Cronenberg's heavenly writing is seriously misunderstood and confused with an empty philosophical discourse; the fantasy here relies in the stale illusion of rationalizing self-destructive tendencies, both material and spiritual, in order to justify a toxic way of life.
"Life is too contemporary."
Everything in this film doesn't seem to happen for a reason, and it actually does. The auteur's antythesis to the contemporary Holy Motors (2012) places an individual engulfed in the business of the sadistically precise, the measurement of neoliberal and exploitative systems in order to determine patterns that emerge with nature. The man wants a haircut and is driven in a limo that always grants him security. Opposite to Carax's film, however, the random encounters here are not scheduled: they are inevitable. The individuals encounter him and shed more light on his frighteningly mechanical mentality, a man living in a future built by forecasts and speculations and seldom on the emotional side of individuals. If we look at:
-...the limousine as a house, office, or any given architectonic shelter
-...the screens as mass media comunication
-...the technology inside the limousine as the current socioeconomic structure of capitalist societies
-...the driver as God
-...each encounter as one aspect of said life
-...and the haircut as a personal endeavor
...then you'll realize that:
a) We ignore, deny and even kill God even if we see Him and accept His need in our lives.
b) The endeavors, aka haircuts, in these socioeconomic structures, are just temporary means to a futile end, that is, to have a better appearance. The endeavor (haircut) will fade out and we'll go back to our own appearance again. This is terrifying, but people irrationally keep fighting for capitalist success, money-making stale fantasies that bring nothing but fallacies and disillusions.
c) Having a fluctuating mood, being tossed back and forth by the offerings of a mechanized life and alternative doctrines (Ephesians 4:14), we are susceptible to pain and also to change our ambitions. Hence, we'll have tons of haircuts, all of them different and many of them different from one another. Such is the emptiness of life.
Also, I find the comments about the green screen amusing. They look artificial alright, and ironically, the whole subtext is, not regarding FOR the film, but IN the film. This world is anarchic, but also panicked, and Eric sees it through the security windows of his limousine. He is driven by "God", but "God" accepts his wishes and banalities, despite the dangers of a hostile world.
I could write a book about this film and I don't have the time, but there is an interesting quote that is very near the ending: "Violence must have a purpose." All bursts of violence here are unexpected and then the film psychologically dissects them for explaining them. And once again, they are understandable under an irrational explanation. So, the argument consists in justifying the world as long as we recognize it as absurd and inert, a world where the rats will slowly turn to currencies, where time will be measured by yoctoseconds, where haircuts will define us, and where our prostates will be asymmetrical.
Pattinson did good. Nice, kiddo.
Oh, and Giamatti always knocks me down!
P.S. This film is stupidly undervalued.