Often when we go to the theater we’re looking or a temporary escape and a few moments of entertainment. This year it seems more and more stories that are at risk of being lost to history are making their big screen debut. This Friday, right before Armenian Remembrance Day, a film that is causing a bit of controversy is heading to theaters. The Promise (which’s name doesn’t give you close to the weight of the movie) is opening in theaters tomorrow.
While internet critics seem to be trying to tank the movie before it gets its foot in the door, and before most people have seen the movie, there are a ton of reasons to see the movie. When I previewed the movie earlier this week, there are a few small things I would nit pick about the movie, but overall – the movie is moving, tragic, and you will leave the theater thinking about it for days after the fact. The movie makes an impact on the viewers, and being based on real historical events – gives you a look at a part of history that should not be forgotten or brushed under the rug.
The title of the movie, The Promise, and even the tag line “Empires fall. Love survives.” gives you the initial feeling that the movie is a love story and just another war time chick flick. And while there is a love story, and a bit of a love triangle throughout the story that is truly secondary to the story and not even a plot device. The trailer gives you just a glimpse of the war and the tragedy that is wrapped up in this movie and the story line.
The Promise follows Michael as he leaves his village to attend medical school in Constantinople. He isn’t there long before tensions rise with the Turkish Government and on the cusp of World War I. Michael has to put his family over his career, his true love and friends as you follow him through the trails of being forcibly enlisted in the war slave labor, and even struggling to escape. At the beginning of the movie Michael does make a promise to his betrothed, and there is an implied promise between Michael and Ana, but there is no real indication of what “The Promise” the title speaks of directly. There is one moment in the love triangle that instinctively you’d expect Chris (Christian Bale’s character) to react differently and with a bit of rage, how is character is portrayed throughout – but instead he uncharacteristically embraces Michael. But with that being said – the rest of the movie is flawless, visually stunning and captivating.
Why should you go to the movies to see The Promise? The movie is tells a story that needs to be told of the Armenian Genocide, and the lives that were lost and impacted during that turbulent time in history. While it seems to start a little slow, the movie holds your attention and will have you lost in the moments of the movie. It is filled with gorgeous scenery, heart wrenching moments and rooting for the good guys. The Promise has moments for everyone who goes to the movies, including action, love and romance and even a compelling historical story. This is a movie you shouldn’t wait for Red Box for, but instead head to the theater to experience.
The Promise brings to light a part of history that many people want to bury, and is heartbreaking and memorable. While it’s not a story that some people want told, it’s one that needs to be told and at such a pivotal point in history is perfectly timed. Expect The Promise to win awards this year, and be sure you don’t miss it in theaters!
Check out the trailer for The Promise:
About The Promise:
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.
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