Wednesday, May 15, 2013

PCP on DVD - Eastern Promises

Eastern Promises is an older movie that I'd always wanted to watch.  It narrowly missed being on my list of 15 movies I'm embarrassed to have not seen, but it was something that I'd always wanted to watch.  My wife is not a fan of gangster movies however, so I had to wait until I was home on a sick day with my son to finally catch this one on DVD. Even though the plot twist had previously been spoiled for me, it was still worth the wait.

Eastern Promises - 2007, rated R.  My rating:  9 out of 10.

Eastern Promises is a story about a mafia that is very rarely the focus of gangster films, the Russian mob.  It is a complex character study about the rise of a low level mobster, Viggo Mortensen, the right hand man to a powerful London mob boss' son (Vincent Cassel), up the food chain of the Russian mob.  He crosses paths with a nurse, Naomi Watts, who has obtained evidence that can be potentially very damaging to the mob boss, evidence that is so hot it is very hazardous to her health.

I don't want to discuss the plot more because I do not want to give away the twist in the final act of the film, one that turns the whole film up to that point completely on its head.  Suffice it to say, it was a pretty good whammy that I probably wouldn't have seen coming had I not had it spoiled for me previously.  The film is so good though, the acting performances so excellent, that even though it was spoiled for me I still enjoyed the film very much.  Mortensen's Golden Globe nominated performance seriously delivers, it is probably the best role he's ever had.  His mobster is downright chilling in his undercurrents of malice, and his tattoos (as seen partially on the poster) are very intimidating.  His performance makes the film, and without it the film would be rated far lower.

A funny story from filming: one day Mortensen went to a London Russian bar after filming without going through the makeup process to remove his tattoos.  The place apparently grew very silent, as his tattoos spell out his character's criminal history to those that know their meanings, and there were many in the restaurant/bar that were frightened by his presence until he explained who he really was.

Anyways, if you like great acting performances, mobster movies, movies with twist endings, or have ever wondered what Viggo Mortensen looked like naked, then go see this movie, it is not to be missed.


  1. i loved this movie, excpet for a specific sauna scene, but great flick. Vigo is the man

    1. Yeah I could've lived without ever seeing Viggo's little Viggo but aside from that the film was excellent.