Tag Archives: history of violence

A History of Violence

A History of Violence: Viggo Mortensen (of Lord of the Rings fame) plays Tom Stall, a family man and owner of a small diner in rural Indiana. He is visited by mobsters from Philidelphia who claim he is actually Joey Cusack, a powerful and ruthless killer with whom they have a beef. The story itself is a fascinating study of identity and instinct, trust and truth. Viggo does a fantastic job with only the most subtle of voice inflections and facial expressions. It’s all very real. However, I think I might have preferred this story in novel form. The violence was extremely gory and the sex extremely graphic. I can appreciate the horror of a murder without a close-up shot of a man whose face just got blown off. Likewise, I can understand that Viggo has a happy marriage without watching him and his wife do a 69. I’m not usually that much of a prude; my main complaint is that they didn’t seem to do anything for the story. Anyway, overall I liked it – the acting and story were very good. There were a lot of uncomfortable silences, but that was quite appropriate, given the subject matter. If explicit sex and violence don’t bug you, go see it.

Note to anyone who’s seen the movie: when the first two dudes show up at the diner at the beginning, I swear they call Viggo “Billy.” This is not addressed anywhere else in the film. Did I mishear them?

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