When a young girl dies during childbirth in a London hospital, her midwife tries to discover her identity by having her diary translated which leads to her becoming embroiled in the affairs of the Russian Mafia.
David Cronenberg’s follow up to A History Of Violence shares many of its themes; it stars Viggo Mortensen who is once again on top form, contains some brutally realistic violence and a grim, completely unsexy sex scene. The other performances are also strong, including Armin Mueller-Stahl as the Russian “Godfather” whose initial seemingly warm and familial attitude contains suitably sinister undercurrents, Vincent Cassel as his son and heir who deals with his latent homosexuality in this homophobic world with alcohol induced debauchery and Naomi Watts once again proves she is more than a pretty face as the headstrong heroine. Unfortunately the weaknesses of the previous film are also in evidence; the script contains few surprises and it lacks a strong narrative conclusion, but once again Cronenberg has created a solid and well made gangster film in which strong performances bolster the slight weakness in plot.
Basically, if you liked A History Of Violence you’ll more than likely enjoy this. If you didn’t, you probably won’t.