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Eastern Promises

Plot overview: Pregnant Russian teenager dies in London hospital. Midwife finds her diary and tries to reunite baby with the teenager's family. Russian Mafia stuff ensues. People die. Blood happens. Intrigue is rife.

Who's in it?: Viggo Mortensen - You'll remember him from A History Of Violence. He was rather jolly good in it - and he's rather jolly good in this too.

Is it any good?: Hell, yeah. It doesn't have the same "wow" factor as A History Of Violence, but it's still a well written story that has some amazing moments. Probably one of the key pivotal moments is where a Mafia chappie has a naked fight with two fully-clothed Chechens in a steam room. They are both armed with knives - and the realism of the situation will make you will truly cringe. There's some good twisty-turny plot stuff in there. The film makes East London look an unpleasant and grotty place (which largely, it is) and it doesn't do much for the image of Russian men (which it largely portrays as alcoholics and womanisers). I don't remember seeing a gratuitous shot of a top London landmark in there either. Perhaps for that reason I should nominate it as one of the best films for the year.

Should I go and see it?: Most certainly you should. I'd even recommend that you sell at least one parent into slavery to watch it. Two parents might be pushing it, though - only films of a special calibre merit that. I'd watch this ten times in a row instead of having to watch any of the Pirates Of The Caribbean films just once. That says something. Mr Cronenberg has done a rather good job.

Other reviews: Here, here and here.
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