Saturday 28 June 2008

Eastern Promises [2007]

David Cronenberg’s follow-up to A History of Violence is a sequel of sorts to the heavily acclaimed film. Though Eastern Promises does indeed fail to live up to the masterpiece, it is a very good movie nonetheless. Where the former was a near surreal poetry on violence, the latter is unflinching and at times near operatic in its brutal force. The tragic death of a young pregnant mother in London opens a can of beans and leads the half-Russian obstetrician, desperate to find the orphaned baby’s home, to the very epicenter of the nefarious and deadly Russian Mafia in London. Naomi Watts’s charged performance in the role of a desperate lady with a traumatic past is reminiscent of her superlative career-making turn in Mullholand Drive. Viggo Mortensen as the menacing and ruthless gangster with a strangely sympathetic streak is an alter-ego to his character in A History of Violence or perhaps an alternate existence that the character could have had. Terrific turns by the supporting cast, and the leisurely pace of the narrative punctuated by such graphic violence that only Cronenberg – one of the most important directors of his times – can concoct and alleviate to the level of art, have ensured what could have been just another slick action movie is instead something worth watching and perhaps even contemplating on.

Director: David Cronenberg
Genre: Crime Thriller/Gangster Movie/Action
Language: English
Country: UK


1minutefilmreview said...

First and most important of all, we do not agree that Watts's performance in this is reminiscent of her invincible turn in 'Mulholland Drive'. What was required of her in this movie was just to let the tears flow and act scared. Her role in 'Mulholland' was way more complex.

We did not contemplate at all after watching this because there was nothing for us to reflect on. We knew very little about the pregnant mother to invest our emotions. This factor is a crucial turning point for us in losing our way with this film. All we knew of her was that she wanted a better life but was exploited, abused and killed instead. Call us heartless swines, but we've seen these narrative cliches countless times before.

Anyway, these are just our thoughts on the movie and we understand if you enjoy it substantially more than us. It's apples and oranges. You may prefer apples, we dig the oranges. :)

Shubhajit said...

I have deliberately used the term "reminiscent" because even for a terrific actress like her it will be near impossible for her to equal, leave alone better, her career making turn in Mulholland Drive. This movie reminded me of that role & her fantastic ability.

As you have very rightly pointed out, it is a matter of opinions. After all if we all had identical views, there wouldn't be much fun, right? By the way, just to set the facts right, i too prefer oranges over apples ;)