Don Reviews "The Promise"
Genocides are one of the worst parts of human history, from The Crusades to the Holocaust to some of the current climate in Africa. People have always wondered how a human can do that to other humans as well as how other people can let it happen without doing anything.
"The Promise" is the new film directed by Terry George (Stand Off, Hotel Rwanda) and stars Christian Bale (The Dark Knight, The Prestige), Oscar Isaac (Ex Machina, Drive), Shohreh Aghdashloo (The Lake House, X-Men: The Last Stand), Angela Sarafyan (Mercury Plains, 1915), and Charlotte Le Bon (The Walk, The Take). Based on true events during the end of the Ottoman Empire around 1915, Mikael (Isaac) is a medical school student who leaves his village to go to Constantinople to further his studies. While there, he meets Ana (Le Bon) and falls in love with her; however, she is dating American journalist Chris Myers (Bale). As World War I Germany allies with Turkey, the local military start to capture and kill as many Armenians as they can find. As a result, Mikael must not only find a way to survive, but also help keep his family and village from a horrible fate.
The sets and props are historically correct for the time, with incredible scenery. When it comes to the acting, there is great chemistry between the entire cast, especially the three leads. There is a huge supporting cast here, and the balance between the cast and roles is leveled well, but I have to admit that Bale shines in his role as a distant but caring journalist, while Isaac plays a character showing very good emotion while staying reserved in the toughest of situations.
The plot is good and flows well overall, but at almost two and a quarter hours still felt a little long to me. Even though there could have been a few scenes that could have been cut, it was good overall. I do have to warn you that this film is very violent with some scenes that show the true horrors of war and genocide in what the filmmakers were trying to get across as a story that many people probably did not know even happened. Even though the film is long, it was still good, and I will recommend it as a twilight or matinee showing in the theaters.