The setting of this film is in London, England, UK. Tatiana is a pregnant Russian teenager. She arrives at a hospital and she is found to be bleeding. The doctors are only able to save her baby and Tatiana dies. Anna Khitrova is a Russian descendant midwife and she discovers a diary written in Russian by Tatiana. She asks her uncle Stepan to translate the document. He refuses to translate and she finds a restaurant card in the diary. A Russian named Semyon owns the restaurant. Anna visits Semyon and he offers to do the translation. Anna learns that Semyon has a son that is sick and he had raped Tatiana when she was 14 years old. She was forced to work as a prostitute in a Russian brothel owned by the Semyon family. The safety of Anna and her family is now is jeopardy since Semyon is the very dangerous boss of the Russian mafia Vory v Zakone.
Viggo Mortensen as Nikolai is one scary character in this film plus is covered with prison tattoos. He’s cold, calculating and menacing from the beginning. He is filled with uncontrolled anger and you can feel it coming through the screen. There are a LOT of other sketchy characters as well. This is the underbelly of the criminal mafia world where life has no value. Anna is naïve and she doesn’t have any idea what she is getting into when she investigates the diary. 3 1/2* (I liked this movie)
100 min, Crime directed by David Cronenberg with Naomi Watts, Viggo Mortensen, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Sinead Cusack, Vincent Cassel, Jerzy Skolimowski,
Note: Imdb 7.7 out of 10, 89% cirtic 83% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Amazon 4.3* out of 5* with 480 reviews.
Special Note: Filmed in Woolwich, Greenwich, Frizrovia, Clerkenwell, Hackney, West Brompton, Blackfriars, Chelsea, Bow, London, England, UK. Viggo Mortensen drove around alone and without a translator to Moscow, St. Petersburg and the Ural Mountain region of Siberia for five days to prepare for his role. He read books on the Russian prison culture and the importance of prison tattoos. He perfected his Siberian accent and learned lines in Russian, Ukrainian and English. During filming, he used worry beads made in prison from melted-down plastic cigarette lighters. Naomi Watts found out she was pregnant at the start of filming and she was unsuccessful hiding it from costume designer Denise Cronenberg.