Eastern Promises (2007) – 8/10
Not your typical Cronenberg flick. Yes it’s violent but it’s not sci fi/fantasy. No creatures that seem to have crept from the dark recesses of Cronenberg’s unconscious. An engaging, dark exploration of the Russian mafia in the UK.
Viggo Mortensen is the driver, a mysterious character capable of extreme violence. And yet there’s a stillness, an undercurrent of sadness and compassion. We trust him. So does Naomi Watts – a midwife who becomes embroiled in the mafia flow for a time.
The story unfolds with little exposition. We are left to consider and think about gestures, comments and actions. The ending is both satisfying and melancholic. What choices do we make in our lives and why do we make them?