Cronenberg's Eastern Promises hits UK DVD on February 25th
14th Jan 08
Featuring a great cast (including Viggo Mortensen, Naomi Watts and Vincent Cassel), David Cronenberg's Eastern Promises has been garnering lots of praise from both high-end and low-brow publications alike, so if you missed the opportunity to see it on it's theatrical run, we strongly you urge to put aside a couple of hours to watch this great film when it is released on DVD (£19.99) and Blu-Ray (£24.99) on February 25th, courtesy of Pathe.
A powerful and violent gangster thriller set in a dark and gritty London, Eastern Promises features Viggo Mortensen as ruthless Russian mafia man Nikolai Luzhin, who encounters a few moral dilemmas thanks to a chance meeting with a young midwife, Anna Kitrova (Naomi Watts).
With a cracking script (by Steven Dirty Pretty Things Knight), powerhouse performances and that naked fight scene in the steam room, Eastern Promises even surpasses Cronenberg's previous film A History of Violence with it's complex, yet insightful, meditations on the need for human aggression. One of the best films of 2007.
The mysterious and charismatic Russian-born Nikolai (Mortensen; Lord Of The Rings Trilogy) is a driver for one of London’s most notorious organised crime families of Eastern European origin. The family itself is part of the Vory V Zakone criminal brotherhood headed by Semyon, whose charm as a welcoming restaurant owner impeccably masks a cold and brutal core. The family’s fortunes are tested by Semyon’s volatile son, Kirill (Vincent Cassel; La Haine), who is more tightly bound to Nikolai than to his own father.
However, Nikolai’s carefully maintained existence is jarred once he crosses paths with Anna Khitrova (Watts; King Kong), a midwife at a North London hospital.
Anna is deeply affected by the desperate situation of a young teenager who dies while giving birth to a baby. She resolves to try to trace the baby’s lineage and relatives using the girl’s personal diary which is written in Russian.
With Semyon and Kirill closing ranks and Anna pressing her inquiries, Nikolai unexpectedly finds his loyalties divided. As the family tightens its grip on him, who can, or should, he trust? Several lives – including his own – hang in the balance as a harrowing chain of murder, deceit and retribution reverberates through the darkest corners of both the family and London itself.
Both the DVD and Blu-ray releases include two featurettes: Secrets and Stories and Marked For Life.
8th Jun 04 The film opens with a very similar voiceover narration to the original (see Trivia) but with different footage as we tour the furnace room, all fingernail scratches and blood-clotted hair, of the Hewitt residence.