Empires fall, love survives. When Michael (Oscar Isaac), a brilliant medical student, meets Ana (Charlotte Le Bon), their shared Armenian heritage sparks an attraction that explodes into a romantic rivalry between Michael and Ana’s boyfriend Chris (Christian Bale), a famous American photojournalist dedicated to exposing political truth. As the Ottoman Empire crumbles into war-torn chaos, their conflicting passions must be deferred while they join forces to get their people to safety and survive themselves. THE PROMISE is directed by Academy Award winning filmmaker Terry George.

What We Thought:

The Promise is one of those movies you see once and never have to see again. That’s not necessarily a bad thing though. The story of the film is just one you really don’t have to go back and revisit.

It’s based on a true story around the Armenian Holocaust. Christian Bale plays a journalist in love with Charlotte Le Bon. Oscar Isaac plays a young medical student who also falls for Le Bon. As war gets closer those involved must go separate ways to escape.

Part of me is happy the Armenian Holocaust/Genocide is finally getting some airtime. So few people know about it and it’s something more people should know. Unfortunately the film itself just doesn’t separate itself from other war movies. It reminded me a lot of Defiance, about the Holocaust in Germany. That’s probably the biggest issue with the film, it reminds me of other films and doesn’t stand out for any particular reason.

I almost wish this was a more popular movie that people knew about to see if there would be a boycott and faked outrage about its casting choices. Oscar Isaac is Guatemalan and has a Cuban father yet he plays a famous Armenian. Is there no outrage because he’s not white? If it was a white actor playing Armenian would they be criticizing the film for it? Charlotte Le Bon is French Canadian playing an Armenian. If people were paying attention to the movie would they question how she was cast? How sad is it that questions like this even exist?

The Promise has beautiful cinematography and direction. It has great set design and production value. Bale, Isaac and Le Bon are all good, I just wish there was more to the movie. Even if you aren’t familiar with the story, you can see where it’s going. There’s nothing exactly wrong with the film, but I can’t see myself needing to see it for a second time.

Cast & Crew:


Recommended If You Like:

  • Defiance
  • History

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