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Eastern Promises [Blu-ray]
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A Russian teenager living in London who dies during childbirth leaves clues to a midwife in her journal that could tie her child to a rape involving a violent Russian mob family
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Vincent Cassel (Kirill) and Armin Mueller-Stahl (Semyon) are also extremely convincing, the former as a violent drunk and the latter as the charming and affable, but very cruel father. Naomi Watts doesn't light up the screen and steal the show as she normally does, but it could be the depressing role of Anna, a midwife who delivers a baby for a fourteen year old girl who doesn't make it off the operating table.
Anne Frank may have left a more famous diary, but the diary of the unfortunate young woman is so revealing that some people are prepared to kill to keep the contents from being brought to light.
Fascinating in some aspects, such as the story behind the tattoos, and graphic in quite a few others, including a memorable scene with a totally nude Viggo battling against guys with linoleum knives, I found some parts a bit too long and drawn out, and some too predictable.
Never-the-less, the acting, the casting and the intensity of this drama make it extremely watchable (if you like this movie genre), and although it isn't going to be one of my favorite movies, it certainly is worth mentioning here.
There are parts of the film when it seems somewhat slow, and one cannot help but wonder how a person could reach such a high level in the Russian mafia as an undercover police operative without committing cold blooded murder in the sight of his mafia comrades. However, these are minor criticisms in light of the emotional power and entertainment value of this film.
Cronenberg has evolved with his last two films, A History of Violence and Eastern Promises, into a master film maker. These two films display the maturity of a director who knows how to develop great characters, story development, and suspense in a movie, but like Alfred Hitchcock, doesn't forget that the primary purpose of a film is to entertain an audience. In my opinion, Cronenberg is becoming one of the most interesting and talented directors of our generation.
Eastern Promises is a very enjoyable film to view and I highly recommend it.
Post-script: while watching EP I kept thinking back to Stephen Frears' Dirty Pretty Things, but couldn't put my finger on why that was (beyond the fact that both movies explore immigrant ties in present-day London). Turns out they were both written by the same guy: Steve Knight, whose Amazing Grace is also a much much better movie than it had any right to be.
Most recent customer reviews
Eastern Promises is a great movie. Viggo Mortensen's performance is outstanding and very convincing.Published 6 months ago by Oreosnap
Delivery time was fine. I didn't notice the part where it said this isn't compatible with North American DVD players. Possibly my mistake. But.... Read morePublished 7 months ago by ChrisW
dark brooding, suspenseful, and , at the end, redeeming.
I hope Ms. Watts never retires. Never. Each project she improves her craft, and challenges us to keep up. Read more
Always a pleasure to see Viggo Mortensen and David Cronenberg at their best.Published 13 months ago by Pierre
The Eastern steel book is very nice. If you collect steelbooks, add this one to your collection. You won't regret it.Published 19 months ago by Mikki D.