Saturday, October 06, 2007

Eastern Promises

I needed a little cheering up after watching my Yankees lose a heartbreaking ALCS game to the Cleveland Indians 2-1, so I thought, y'know what, I'm going to go see Eastern Promises. I really wasn't sure what I was expecting going into the theatre. I thought maybe a kind of an action suspense, I got something much more satisfying. It was a great character study and Viggo was at the top of his game.The franks and beans of this story takes place in London and revolve around the death of a young girl who dies while in labor. Anna, (Naomi Watts) a midwife at the hospital, cares for the dying girl and her newborn child. She discovers a diary written by the girl. So she tries to piece together the poor teen's life in order to find a family for the orphaned child. This investigation of hers takes her to the doorstep of a shady Russian restaurateur (Armin Mueller-Stahl) and his son Kirill (Vincent Cassel). It is also where she runs into a heavily tattooed Gary Cooperish Russian driver named Nikolai (Viggo Mortensen). And that's about it, plot wise, there are a few twists and turns, but for the most part this is a very personalized character driven story.Now normally I hate talking about Oscars, and who deserve to get them, but watching Viggo work his way through the film like a Russian Steve McQueen it was was just incredible. He completely dominated the frame. I really liked the focus on the tattoos and how they tell a person's life history. Apparently the Russian Mob swears by them and wear them like a coat of arms. I didn't know this but I found it fascinating. There were some really great performances from Naomi Watts, Cassel and Mueller-Stahl. Of course one of my favorites, but wasn't the most PC of characters, but was funny non-the-less, Uncle Stepan (Jerzy Skolimowski). He took the term "drunk Russian" to a whole new low. I am really starting to love David Cronenberg's movies. First it was A History of Violence and now this, the man is on a role. I mean, I love Scanners and the Fly and everything but those are just popcorn gross fests, but Eastern Promises is so much more. Now you may or may not have heard about a fight sequence where Viggo fights in a Turkish bathhouse, yeah it's true and yeah Viggo, (and yes I have to say it) rocks out with his cock out, literally. This scene was a reminder to me who was directing the film it was brutal and graphic but it was bad ass. Eastern Promises is definitely one of the best films I've seen this year and if you haven't seen this one you better get out there cause I don't know how much longer it'll be around.

Grade 5 Buckets

1 comment:

David said...

Eastern Promises might just be the best movie of 2007.