© 2013 Jan Zulawski <firstname.lastname@example.org>
David Cronenberg's Eastern Promises is one of - if not the best depictions of international organized crime scenes, in his own visceral and brightly lit artistic expression. Having simply the best contemporary actors that one could possibly gather together and make a picture - Naomi Watts, Vincent Cassel and Viggo Mortensen - what could possibly have the slightest flaw?
After all, as I often like to put it, it's all in the details. The little twitches, gestures that denote infallible genuineness in all mixed cultural aspects, those subtle signs that almost subconsciously connect and bound together the elements of style.
The sheer and ruthless lines of dialogue that are spit in the faces of characters involved in the most unexpected interactions, from trivial talk to family table conversations, add up to the film's state of permanent shock, that constantly keeps the audience in a state of terror that builds up gradually, as matters are revealed to the viewer. There are spoken horrific revelations and there are displayed events - both having a common feature: they are both intrinsically filled w/ angst and dread and they are both honest and graphic.
The specifically exotic East European accents are so well blended in each English phrase spoken, that the movie extrudes a micro-universe so genuine that makes the audience completely immersed into the events depicted, making it hard not to believe that any of the facts presented could also happen in any major West European city out there, in the public light, underground but not in the slightest bit hidden from the casual passerby. And that's what truly makes the whole film scarier than almost any other artistic portrayal of organized crime. This whole insane and merciless world of professional criminals that perfected their living in a complete harmony w/ the perks and habits of any modern society is what ultimately induces the horrifying thought that in the end no one is safe from the potentially evil nature of the environing society one lives in everyday.
Consider, for example, Viggo Mortensen's natural ability to dwell so deep in the characters he portrays that it couldn't be possible to draw any line - no matter how thin - separating the two dramatic entities. His preparation for the role is done w/ much more than precise professionalism, being more than comparable to the complete loss of personal identity found in some of the most prolific character actors out there (take John Hawkes, or Harry Dean Stanton).
Even the perfectly accurate depiction of blood in its abundant on-screen presence is marked w/ a masterful touch and physiological precision: the blood resulting from an internal bleeding is thick and darkened, while the one from an arterial wound is lightly colored.
"From France. Old as fuck." -- Kiril.
-- Apr 08, 2013. ⌘