Movie review: “Eastern Promises”

Eastern Promises (2007) was a rather gory and explicitly violent movie about the Russian mafia in London. It is directed by David Cronenberg, who also directed “A History of Violence”. You can check out the trailer here.

It tells the story of Anna Khitrova (played by the very pretty Naomi Watts), a midwife at a London hospital. She delivers a baby from a 14 year old Russian girl Tatiana, who dies during labour. While searching through Tatiana’s handbag to find a clue as to her identity, she finds a diary written in Russian, as well as a card for a Russian restaurant called ‘Trans-Siberian’.

When she goes to the restaurant to ask whether they know the girl and in the hope of finding family that will look after the baby, she meets the boss of the Russian Mafia, Semyon, played brilliantly by Armin Mueller-Stahl as kind of like a friendly uncle but with a definitely ominous undertone. She also meets the driver and ‘cleaner’ Nikolai Luzhin (played superbly by Viggo Mortensen at his most menacing).

Add some more bad guys and a few vicious fight scenes with sharp instruments, a couple of twists and turns in the plot that keep you guessing until the end, and you have a passably good (albeit graphically violent) movie.

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Other movies we’ve watched in June: 

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