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    Tuesday, September 25, 2007

    Eastern Promises

    A quick review I wrote to a friend who'd not only begged me to see the movie, but paid for it as well.

    I just saw EASTERN PROMISES. I enjoyed it. However, it felt a bit uneven to me and I really got thrown out by the voice over at the beginning, and I love voice over, but the first few just weren't grounded. I didn't know how it was I was privy to the information at that point. It wanted to be a love story, and a thriller, and an indictment of human smuggling/enslavement, and etc. It also wanted to be both her story and his story and I'm not quite sure it pulled any of that off. That being said, it did pull something off. What it was exactly, I'm not sure I have words for yet. I think for me I'd need to see it again without whatever expectations I had going in. It's definitely more European in story style and pacing. The fight in the steam bath will go down in cinematic history as being one of the most daring and realistic fight scenes ever filmed. I think Viggo was outstanding and same with Stahl, but I really don't think any of the other characters were given much to do, so I really can't blame the actors. They all did fine, I just wanted more from their characters. Truth be told, the movie I want to see, most likely because I've been overly corrupted by American cinema, is the movie that begins with the last shot of this one. I actually think it's worth a sequel of sorts, because I could watch Viggo's character all day long and I want to know how the story ends. I'd also like to see what scenes were cut out, because I felt once it was over, that I was somehow not watching the best edit of the film. I think somewhere along the line there was a slightly longer better edit. I actually think there's another ten minutes or so that should probably be in there, but I don't know what it is.

    Don't get me wrong, I did enjoy it, just not as much as I had hoped to. What I am glad about is that I think Cronenberg's shift both in style and content of his films that he's making the best work of his life.

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