It's now exactly 10 years, 1 month and 4 days ago that David Cronenberg's Promises de l'ombre has been released in theaters in France. Which makes it an excellent date for you to propose my criticism!
David Cronenberg is a real director, a little apart from everything, it is hard to put him in a category if not his. Mostly known for his fantasy films, often on the verge of horror with the awesome The Fly, he does not hesitate to try other genres where stories are anchored in a more real world. After the first collaboration with Viggo Mortensen in 2005 with the excellent A History of Violence, they find themselves in 2007 for The Promises of the Shadow, which although having a more 123movieshub.com/ classic form than the previous one remains strong footprint if specific to the Canadian director.
London, a teenager dies while giving birth. Anna, the midwife who took care of her, decides to find the family of the newborn with the help of a diary found on the girl. A newspaper wrote in Russian. This will lead him to meet Semyon, owner of the restaurant Trans-Siberian who also happens to be a leader of the local Russian mafia, and the newspaper does not leave him indifferent, although he claims the opposite. What are his real interests? And what are those of his son Kirill and his mysterious driver Nikolai? Between betrayals, murders and family stories, Anna will have to discover the truth!
The realization is very stable, very direct. Cronenberg gets to the point, he knows what he wants and he knows what to show the viewer. All underlined by a staging and a cold photograph, sometimes falsely hot as during the scene with the buffet and the family meal in the restaurant.
During the vast majority of dialogues, discussions between several characters, there is no conventional field/backfield, behind the shoulder of each individual to have them all the time both in the frame, even in part. Neither plan overall where the two would talk to each other (there are some but very few). Most of these plans are front-end plans. The face is in the middle of the screen and he speaks. This supports our feelings for the characters, we can see the most minute expressions, detail its features. This undoubtedly strengthens the characters of Cronenberg's film and their involvement in the film. The viewer sees all the characters face to face before judging them. This vision of the face also supports Cronenberg's penchant for flesh, the skin. He shows things. Which brings together a little bit promises of the shadow, with other Cronenberg films such as Videodrome, The For any other film a little more fantastic that deals more directly with the issue of flesh, body, and complexion.
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The film is 10 years old, it's crazy to say that because it has not aged a bit. It remains an excellent thriller, mastered from start to finish whether it is staging, directing, scenario, photography or acting. We can not blame him for anything. In short, if you have not seen it look at it and if you've seen it before, see it again, it's the kind of film whose mastery is not as good as one and the bathroom scene is one of the best in Cronenberg's career!