'Eastern': Blood, gore and a bare Mortensen
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#1 Jul 8, 2008
I politely disagree with the review. Viggo Mortensen is truly great as Nikolai in the movie, one role which could be referred to as revelatory, if not for his work in History of Violence (Chronenbeg's last film). I too felt that the accents depleted from complete immersion in the film, but the characters, aside from Naomi Watts (admittedly not given much to do in a thankless role) are compelling and detailed. Chronenberg it seems would like to linger on the tattoos as life stories portion more than the script itself (since when has Chronenberg not gone in for bodily mutation?) and his touches show in the overall movie. In many portions the actors and the director combine to go above and beyond what is essentially a mediocre script (SPOILERS: even poor, forced scenes such as Mortensen's police connection is dealt with well by the team). I believe that Chronenberg despite being a bit more mainstream nowadays is certainly daring often including scenes that other directors would rightly balk at. In the end its a daring, original interpretation of the script by a very talented cast and crew and though not what I expected left me pleased at having the opportunity to watch the film.
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