Eastern Promise is a gangster film directed by David Cronenberg. The plot tells the story of an abandoned baby from a 14-year-old drug addict. Anna (Naomi Watts), delves into the Russian underworld to try and trace the roots of this now dead junkie, so that her baby can have a chance at a future.
I loved the world of the Russian mob that this film dives into, it is so deep and layered, there is so much to it and all is explored in great detail. Furthermore, this film teaches us the audience a great deal that we might not know in this regard, such as the importance of tattoos within the mob.
Watts is fine, serviceable but not much more, however the real star here is Nikolai (Viggo Mortensen). Mortensen gives a very strong performance that feels nuanced and well delivered, he is so much more than the thug character type he has so much more personality than that. The twist with his character, that I won’t spoil here, is quite obvious but it still works well.
The ending of the film does set it up for a sequel, which I think could be great if it continues to dive further into this world; however according to Cronenberg himself it is dead.
Overall, a bit more thinky than most Gangster films, the plot and the themes are just as important as the violence.
A deep world
An intriguing story
The twist works
Naomi Watts is very eh
Reviewed by Luke