BBC iPlayer: Eastern Promises (2007)

on Thursday, July 22, 2010
Words: Saam Das

'Eastern Promises' (2007)

Director: David Cronenberg
Cast: Naomi Watts, Viggo Mortensen, Vincent Cassel, Armin Mueller-Stahl

Viggo Mortensen and Vincent Cassel in Eastern Promises (
SYNOPSIS: "Thriller set in the underworld of London's Russian mafia. When Anna, a midwife, sets out to discover the truth behind the death of a young prostitute, she finds herself snared in the deadly world of sex trafficking." (

I'm glad that the BBC elected to use a taut description to describe David Cronenberg's 'Eastern Promises'. I decided to watch the film with as little knowledge about its premise as possible (much like I did with 'Inception', which although overly hyped is a must-see) and with one plot point arguably defining 'Eastern Promises', this approach worked out well.

Somewhat bizarre to find Naomi Watts playing an English nurse (Anna) and Viggo Mortensen playing a shady Russian figure but I guess that's acting for you. As it happens, Mortensen received a Best Actor nom at the 2007 Oscars. Credit must also go to Vincent Cassel and Armin Mueller-Stahl for their work as the father-and-son leaders of the Russian group central to the film.

Retaining some of the visceral nature of his previous works, David Cronenburg delivers a film of the standard we've now come to expect from a director of his considerable talent. An engrossing drama.

[WATCH] until 00:14am Sunday 25th July 2010 (UK users only).

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