Eastern Promises is a 2007 gangster film directed by David Cronenberg, and stars Viggo Mortensen and Naomi Watts. I’d heard a lot about this film, but hadn’t had much of a chance to watch it. I was told it was a powerful film, and no kidding. It was a tough film at times — graphic, violent, and you never quite knew what was going to happen. The film is about how a British midwife (Watts) tries to find out more about a young pregnant teenager who appears to be abused, and dies while giving birth. The teenager had a diary with her written in Russian, and a business card for the Tran-Siberian restaurant. As Watts’ character he tries to find out more about this teenager, she gets introduced to the Russian mob in London as she tries to discover more clues.
Viggo Mortensen plays Nikolai, a driver and a person attempting to become a “made man” in the organization. He does the mob’s cleanup work, but there seems to be something different about him. Does he have a heart of gold? Does he want to do the right thing, but too fiercely loyal to the family? My first question after watching this film is how did Mortensen not win the Oscar for this film? It was a complete transformation for him as an actor.