Eastern Promises (David Cronenberg)

This is a strong film (see http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0765443/) both in terms of its physicality and blood – as a film about the Russian mafia that isn’t suprising – and strong in performances. Viggo Mortensen plays probably the central character a hard man and driver who is working his way into the elite of this organisation (they have tatoos of stars done on their knees to symbolise that they bow to no one). The lead female role is played by Naomi Watts (she is an ‘innocent’ midwife) and her perhaps rather wishy-washy playing is a deliberate foil to Mortensen. I was suprised that Cronenberg made such conventional and linear films nowadays after enjoying Naked Lunch and Videodrome but its no less powerful for that. For me it is the strength of character and depth of that central character and the way that, the morning after seeing it, I am remembering small points about his actions that I missed at the time that explain so much. There is also a gay attraction hinted at between the two leading men – quite a lot of hints, actually.

This is certainly worth seeing.