After keeping tabs on the political articles popping up on The Dagger lately, I came to the conclusion that some entertainment news needs to be inserted to break-up the seriousness of this site That’s why I have chosen to post a movie review. This time around I tackle David Cronenberg’s Eastern Promises.
I went to see Eastern Promises with the idea it would blow my mind. What I was left with was a very unsatisfying feeling. Now a days, when I go to the movies, I want a big surprising twist in the movie to awe me. But maybe that’s just asking for too much. Eastern Promises did not live up to the hype, but it was a solid film.
Without getting too specific, the story is about a small Russian mob family and their unscrupulous business practices. Naomi Watts’ character, Anna, works at a hospital where a young mother shows up in horrible shape and dies while giving birth. Anna finds a diary on the young woman and sets out to get it deciphered in order to possibly find a relative for the newly born child to be handed over to. What she finds is less than settling as the diary reveals a tormented life at the hands of the Russian mob family.
You may now be asking yourself, “but what about Viggo Mortensen?” Ah yes, Viggo. Probably the brightest point of the film, Mortensen plays Nikolai, a driver and gopher for the Russian mob family. Whether Nikolai is driving people around or disposing of a dead body, he upholds an air of mystery and hardened finesse.
At this point, I will abandon the movie recap because going any further may reveal too much. Just be warned that there are a few small twists, but unless you are totally clueless, you will see them coming a mile away. The only other warning has to do with male nudity in the film. If this makes you uncomfortable, do not see this film. On my way to see it, I was told there was a scene of full frontal nudity with Mortensen’s character. This was an understatement. It is actually about a five-minute fight scene in a bathhouse where Nikolai dukes it out sans clothing.
Overall, I would rate this film a B-. The important lesson here was to close your hears when anyone wants to tell you anything about a movie. It’s better to find out for yourself and be your own judge. So maybe instead of reading this, you should have closed your eyes.
If the trailers and descriptions of Eastern Promises intrigue you, I would not deter you from going to see it. One thing I am sure of when it comes to this film: come Academy Awards time, David Cronenberg should find the comfiest seat in the house, because he won’t leave it for the entire ceremony.