Friday, 6 June 2008
A History of Violelnce 
David Cronenberg has attained cult following among “artistic” B-film lovers for his gore-filled slasher movies. But a movie like A History of Violence, inspite of being, comparatively, a mainstream movie with restricted blood and violence, has far more horror and spine-chilling moments embedded in it than all the blood-soaked zombie movies combined. Minimalist in composition and realist in tone, the movie hits like a hand grenade even to people aware of Cronenberg’s ability to create shock-and-awe effect among his viewers. The movie is a near-poetic tale of a seemingly mundane, unassuming, uninteresting, easy-going, working-class family man (played to perfection by Viggo Mortensen), whose carefully wrapped violent past catches up with him, in spectacular fashion, thanks in large parts to a heroic act of generosity. Mario Bello is equally effective as the loving wife suffering from severe moral ambiguities regarding her husband’s dark past. The final scene is especially symbolic – will the close-knit but dangerously fractured family survive opening of the Pandora’s Box or will it go to pieces? The question is subtle and the answer is open to the discerning viewers. This is a very well made movie of high artistic importance; but people fed on a daily diet of mushy romantic comedies will find it difficult to absorb the unflinching and brutal realism portrayed herein.
Director: David Cronenberg
Genre: Drama/Family Drama/Psychological Thriller/Crime Thriller