I like Cronenberg's last three films a lot. Each one has become more realistic as well and I dig that. 2002's Spider was strange but based in reality. Plus it was smart of Cronenberg to jump into more reality based fare the easy way by making a movie about a crazy, paranoid guy and his flashbacks.
2005's excellent A History of Violence was very good and even more realistic yet it seemed more like a comic book to me than real life. Not that that is bad but it still didn't resonate as "real" to me in the way that his latest, Eastern Promises, does.
The violence feels more real, more direct, and less stylized than in A History of Violence. There are direct consequences to each act of brutality in this film in a way that I didn't feel like the violence was explored as well in A History of Violence.
Every act of violence in this film directly leads to another and impacts each character greatly. Like A History of Violence, Cronenberg is interested in exploring the effect the violence has on the perpetrators rather than the victims.
This is the kind of review I might be able to write well if I actually knew how to write about film. Instead, I don't feel like I've clearly explained my thoughts. I've been thinking about this film quite a bit since I saw it a couple of weeks ago and I like it more with each passing day. It is a very good companion piece to A History of Violence.
And that Viggo Mortenson naked fight scene is perhaps the most brutal fight scene I've ever seen.
Directed by David Cronenberg
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