The Promise directed by Terence “Terry” George (director of Hotel Rwanda) takes on a tough story of the Armenian Genocide. This setting takes place before the world ward 1 begins.
Turkey began roundly killing Armenian citizens throughout their country calling it a “relocation” of the people. Even after 1.5 million Armenian lives where taken the Turkish government still refuses to recognize the event. The story has been waiting for the right film to tell the tragedy but sadly this film does not justify it.
The film begins in Turkey and begins by introducing Oscar Isaac’s playing character Mikael, who is an intelligent and passionate man about his family and community. He commits a promise to young village girl Maral (played by Angela Sarafyan) and agrees to become engaged to her in return of 400 gold coins which will be invested in Mikael’s passion to study medicine. He moves to Constantinople to enroll as a student and immediately meets beautiful French-Armenian tutor, Ana (Charlotte Le Bon). No surprise Mikael quickly becomes infatuated with Ana during his time in Constantinople. Yet Ana does have a relationship with Chris Myers (Christian Bale), who seems to love Ana just as strong. Chris is an American journalist and his character really doesn’t focus much on the romance Ana and Mikael have instead his character does focus on the Armenian people.
Overall a love triangle is formed and the film seems to be trying to hard with it’s cliched writing. The love between Mikael and Ana feels done too fast but I did fall for some scenes which creates a rom-com. They do accomplish to have some scenes making the audience fall for the couple.
Some scenes also did capture more interesting and important events happening. In one part Mikael saves Armenian people captured in a high speed train and really captures the horror happening. Following another part where he is given salvation from a small Armenian family who were kind enough to give him a donkey. The movie should have focused more in these type of scenarios.
The film had a big responsibility having to represent one of the most tragic tales in human history and overall was an interesting movie if not for some of the cliched war time romance.
Judge the movie yourself and watch it this Friday (4/21/2017)a few days before Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day (Monday April 24). You never know you could end up loving this film.