Sunday, February 10, 2008

Eastern Promises (A Christian Movie Review)

This film is so offensive to the morality and cleanliness of a Christian mind, I must urge people not to watch it. You cannot mix clean water with dirty water and get clean water; your mind is something worth protecting.

Without spoilers, I will list the offenses:

As with most mob/organized crime movies, most of the characters are deplorable, and the movie goes to lengths to shock us with how commonly, every-day brutal these people are. But what tips the scale is that the film deals with, essentially, human trafficking. As the name implies, the film shows how young (often underage) Russian girls are tricked into coming West and then forced into prostitution.

The opening scene of the movie has a grisly murder, but the very next scene depicts a 14 year-old girl coming to a pharmacy for help, and then leaking lots of blood from between her legs and feinting. She dies in childbirth (to go further is to introduce spoilers).

In a later scene, the son of the local crime boss and his second are enjoying themselves in the locked room where the forced prostitutes are kept. Some of the girls are enjoying themselves, but most seem scared and act perfunctory. The son, Kirill (Vincent Cassel), forces Nikolai (Viggo Mortensen, "Aragorn" from the Lord of the Rings) to have sex with one of the girls to prove he isn't queer. Nikolai does so in a graphic sex scene with one of the underage girls, easily distinguishable by her underdeveloped breasts. It is hardly something I ever needed to see that particular actor do, let alone any two people in the world.

Another protracted scene features two men armed with knives attacking a naked mobster. During the fight scene, no effort was made to hide the victim's nudity, and several full-frontal nudity shots are presented. The fight is also accurate in its depiction of a knife-fight. As a weathered Jujitsu expert from Japan once told me, "If you ever get in a knife fight, expect to get cut. It's just going to happen. The goal is to live, not to avoid getting cut."

Mild spoiler: In the movie, a baby's life is consistently threatened; in one graphic scene she is taken to a river to be drowned.

So, while the quality of the movie is good, the acting is good, the movie is such an affront to the Christian mind that such kind, beneficent people really do not need to see this.