Monday, 19 July 2010

Film Review: EASTERN PROMISES (2007)

Director: David Cronenberg
Running time: 100 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 18

UK release date: 26th October 2007

Watched on Sky+ Monday 19th July 2010.


David Cronenberg has directed some really good films over the years, unfortunately there have been one or two duds along the way too. Fortunately this one falls in the ‘good’ category, which, considering the reviews I have been reading comes as a great relief. The setting is London in modern times.

Anna is a midwife who lives with her mother, Helen, and her uncle Stepan is visiting for Christmas. Her father, who was Russian, passed away some years earlier. When a fourteen year old girl is brought into the hospital where Anna works and dies giving birth to a daughter Anna decides to try and track her family down. Her only clue is a business card from a restaurant stuffed into the pages of her dairy which is written in Russian. Anna goes to the restaurant where she meets the owner, Semyon, and his son, Kirill. Seymon offers to translate the girl’s diary and Anna agrees. She is met outside by the mysterious chauffeur, Nikolai, who proves to be more than he seems. Little does Anna know she has just entered the Russian criminal underworld, a very dangerous place to be. I will leave my little summary here, don’t want to give too much away.

A very well made film in a style we have come to expect from David Cronenberg. The story slowly evolves with many twists and turns in the plot to keep the audience interested. Very good performances from all of the main cast, Viggo Mortensen as Nikolai, Naomi Watts as Anna, Armin Mueller-Stahl as Seymon and Vincent Cassel as Kirill.

There are some very brutal and graphic scenes in this movie that may not be to everyone’s taste, but they all serve a purpose. I found it a very engrossing film with a very understated and atmospheric score that fitted just nicely into the piece. Over all, an interesting and very enthralling drama, recommended.

My score: 7.8/10

IMDb Site:

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