15 June 2009 | ma-cortes
Intelligent and thought-provoking drama developing a familiar conflict with the Russian mafia
The film starts in Brooklyn , 1888. Two brothers, Robert and Albert Green have chosen separated ways. Bobby Green Grusinsky(Joaquin Phoenix) is manager of a Russian club, who suffers emotional pain when has to confront with his father and brother. Joseph Green Grusinsky (Mark Wahlberg)is a police officer recently promoted to captain, he's a cold-blood professional. Their father is the upright Deputy Chief Albert Grusinsky(Robert Duvall). Bobby has a beautiful fiancée(Eva Mendes) and directs efficiently his club. When a Russian mobster is making his heroin trade, Joseph and Albert ask help to Bobby but he declines. Then Joe busts the discotheque that Robert manages and detain the Russian gangster but also to Bobby. Then the events wreak havoc and lead a spiral out of control.
This is a familiar drama full of intrigue, action, tension, thrills, and violence. Stunning performances by the trio protagonist, Wahlberg, Duvall and Phoenix who frequently casts for the director Gray. Gorgeous beauty from Eva Mendes who also does a magnificent acting as suffering girlfriend .This entertaining and suspenseful film is plenty of twists and unexpected turns. Adequate and moving musical score by Wojciech Kilar.Atmospheric cinematography reflecting splendidly interiors and exteriors from Queens streets.The picture is well directed by John Gray who frequently deals familiar conflicts set in N.Y , in fact he grew up in Queens and his grandparents were Russian immigrants. Gray is a nice writer/director and winner of several prizes.His first movie was ¨Litte Odessa¨(1994) at age of twenty-four and winner of the Venice film Festival, concerning also about Russian immigrants. His following was ¨The Yards¨ which was selected for official competition at Cannes Festival and starred by Mark Wahlberg and Joaquin Phoenix . His last film is titled ¨Two lovers¨(2008), and again with Joaquin Phoenix. Rating : Better than average, well worth watching.