For Reel

Eastern Promises (2007)
May 25, 2011, 4:50 am
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: David Cronenberg

In his two latest pictures – A History of Violence and Eastern Promises – many have suggested that Cronenberg has completely reinvented himself. What is particularly fascinating about both of the films upon further study, however, is in examining just how fitting they are within his oeuvre when considering several of his defining interests. For example, Cronenberg’s history with sexual imagery manifests itself in the sex sequences of A History of Violence, and similarly one can see his fondness for bodily horror in the famous sauna sequence of Eastern Promises. Sexuality, too, plays a big role in the latter film, but not necessarily between Watts and Mortensen. A basic reading of the film might suggest that Vincent Cassell’s character is a closeted homosexual, and homoeroticism is also present in the ritual tattooing sequence. Though homosexuality is addressed in the film as being unacceptable within the Russian gang, ironically it appears as though that the gang’s bonds directly involve their celebration and uniting of naked flesh.