Director David Cronenburg (A History of Violence) once again gives us an in-depth look at an ultra-violent dimension of the world and we are probably not familiar with.
Viggo Mortensen is Nikkolai, a chauffeur for the head of London's Russian mob, Semyon, credibly played by Armin Mueller-Stahl. Naomi Watts is Anna, a midwife who tries to find the family of a newborn whose mother, aged 14, died in childbirth. Nikkolai is more than he seems - in actuality and morally - even spiritually.
The film deals in drugs, murder, rape, mayhem, human trafficking as well as kindness and goodness - and so much more.
This is not a film for the faint-hearted. It's the deadly sins against the beatitudes. And not unintelligent.
The acting is consistently excellent.
Some may rightly ask: is so much violence needed? Perhaps not. But the reality of human trafficking is horrific as studies and reports of victims tell us. So how does this film as art reveal something valid about humanity? I think it does. How are we to respond to the reality of what this film tells us? Ah. This is the question.