A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE Movie Review
A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE
Directed by - David Cronenberg
Starring - Viggo Mortensen, Mario Bello, Ed Harris, and William Hurt
This review may contain some spoilers.
A conversation about the near perfect film Eastern Promises with a friend sparked my interest in re-visiting Cronenberg's other ultra-violent film A History of Violence, also starring Viggo Mortensen. After studying, I popped in the DVD and chomped into a sour apple and watched intently. So here we go.
The beginning tone for this film is immediately unsettling, due to the very different introduction. We literally stayed in one angle for minutes following two unknown men. I really enjoyed this one continuous shot, as I feel too many films adhere to the "MTV cut" nowadays (meaning quick cuts). Sometimes it's great, but sometimes I wanna stay on one shot. After the very malicious and out of the ordinary introduction to A History of Violence, the story moves to a heavenly feeling in a small town somewhere n Middle-America, where everyone’s life is seemingly peaceful.
As the story moves along, secrets are exposed, characters are forced to face truths about themselves and the ones they love, and even more surprises kept on coming. Mortensen's character Tom Stall is accused of being a former muscle for the mafia. He's accused of being Joey Cusack from Philadelphia by a mob boss Fogarty (Ed Harris) after Stall made the headlines by killing two robbers in his coffee shop. Stall denies it, claiming they have the wrong man, but Fogarty believes to the core that he has the right man. Apparently, this Cusack ripped his eye out with barbed-wire and now he can only see the real Joey Cusack. Stall and his family are then harassed by Fogarty and his henchmen.
By the climax, the film had grown into a deeper and more violent film than when it started. One of the best drama/thriller I've seen. Believe me, this film is no cliché. It’s very original, and it’s also a smart film that isn’t afraid to tell a tale of violence at its best. The violence is quite realistic, and in that respect -- it's even more gruesome. But it's not nearly as violent or as good as Eastern Promises. Sometimes the acting from the teens just made me laugh, which wasn't intended.
I liked how the director didn’t have so much action, but more character development and mind games to the plot. But when there's action, it's done superbly. The ending wasn’t as grand as I hoped it to be, but it was still well done. Vague, but well done. This film is an outstanding must-see; it marveled me with violence and mystery.
Enjoy. Now I will crash and sleep from studying earlier... The Jet signing out.
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