1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Not quite delivering the promises,
This review is from: Eastern Promises [DVD] (DVD)
I found this a definitely watchable film, focusing on Russian organised crime in London with a particular slant on the smuggling of young girls brought in from Russia, the Ukraine and elsewhere for prostitution. One such 14-year old is raped by her paymaster and becomes pregnant, but dies in hospital in childbirth. Midwife Naomi Watts wants to take the baby to the unknown girl's family and in the process unwittingly becomes involved with people who will go to any length to keep the dead mother's secrets (revealed in a diary) unknown to the outside world.
Viggo Mortensen is convincing as the Russian gangster, Vincent Cassel less so as his accent frequently reveals his French upper-class background. One of the more noteworthy scenes is a fight in a Turkish bath in Finsbury Park, in which a naked Viggo has to defend himself against two knife-wielding assassins; it's violence portrayed as it should be, nothing glamourous and unusually realistic. Other than that the story moves relatively slowly but interestingly and I developed the impression that it was going to be a long watch. Curiously though it seemed to end before it should or could have, I thought there was at least a half-hour's worth of additional story to go when it came to what I thought was an abrupt end. But all the characterisation was very good and although I wouldn't be in a hurry to see it again I never lost interest as I watched it for the first time.