Saturday, September 22, 2007
The new film from Director, David Cronenberg, delivers the goods. Following up "A History of Violence", "Eastern Promises" once again teams Mr. Cronenberg with Viggo Mortensen who is outstanding in an Oscar caliber performance.
The story gives us a glimpse into the shadowy world of the Russian mob where Mr. Mortensen is a "driver" working for Vincent Cassel, and his father, played by Armin Mueller-Stahl. Mr. Cassel is excellent as the spoiled, cowardly son and Mr. Mueller-Stahl is absolutely chilling as the mob boss who goes from loving to violently cruel in the blink of an eye. As the midwife who accidentally finds herself immersed in this world, Naomi Watts holds her own with her male co-stars.
Part of the genius of "Eastern Promises" lies in the minimum acts of violence that are so graphic that they resonate throughout the film, making it seem far more violent than it really is. This is signature Cronenberg and his style breathes life into these characters like no other director. The film is intense, absorbing and aside from one plot point that bothered me, just terrific.