The Promise is set in the Ottoman Empire, in Armenia, the eastern part of the Ottoman Turkish Empire. Mikael Pogosian (Oscar Isaac) is a young, Armenian medical student who recently married in order to receive an endowment to pay for medical school. He leaves for Istanbul to further his studies. In the midst of his medical endeavors World War 1 breaks out and Armenia is deeply involved in it. When he travels to Istanbul, a mass Armenian genocide is initiated and he has to overcome these obstacles with Ana (Charlotte Le Bon), a woman he begins to fall in love with. Since her husband, Chris Myers (Christian Bale) is not too happy, a love triangle begins to form. Pogosian and Le Bon work together to keep everyone safe and try to leave Turkey and go to the United States.
Oscar Isaac (Mikael Pogosian), the protagonist, puts others first and acts solely on instinct, which is a great quality to possess. Ana (Charlotte Le Bon) has a kind heart and desires to save all of the Armenian children. Chris Myers (Christian Bale) is a reporter for the Armenian genocide and takes great pride in his work. The budget for this film must have been very large because there are hundreds of weapons utilized, many explosions and gunshots and many buildings destroyed. I love that the men ride on horses because horses are one of my favorite animals. It reminds me of history class because, in the past, soldiers rode on horseback.
My favorite part of the film when Ana is teaching Pogosian how to dance with her cousins and Pogosian's cousin walks in. There is complete silence. Not many men dance, so it is entertaining to watch. The message of this film is to be informed about the past and to appreciate all that you have. Living in America, I feel fortunate to be safe and could not imagine what people in countries such as Armenia and Turkey have gone through.
I rate this film 5 out of 5 stars. Since there are many casualties and gory scenes, I recommend this film to children ages 16 to 18 and think adults will enjoy it too. This movie changes how I think. I learned so much from it. If you can watch intense scenes, then you should see it because it will change your life. This film opens in theaters on April 21, 2017. It is a movie that you truly do not want to miss.
Reviewed by Samantha M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17
The Promise, directed by Academy Award winning filmmaker Terry George, is a moving love story based in Turkey and Armenia during World War I.
Mikael Pogosan (Oscar Isaac) was born into a simple family, but had dreams of attending medical school in Constantinople. Once there he fell in love with a fellow Armenian, Ana (Charlotte Le Bon), but she was already in a relationship with American Journalist, Chris Meyers (Christian Bale). While The Promise focuses on the relationships between Mikael, Maral (Angela Sarafyan), Ana and Chris, it dives deep into the chaos and destruction of World War I.
The Promise was shot on location in various parts of Spain witch provides a very picturesque backdrop. I feel that the cinematography matches the very deep and compelling nature of this film. It is a period piece from 1914 and the costumes, hair and makeup are very fitting.
My favorite character is Chris Myers. At first he appears abrasive and hardened, but he wins the audience in the end with his selfless acts and overwhelming display of love toward Ana and compassion toward Mikael and all the Armenian people. I was fascinated by his character development. He continually faces struggles, but his burden for sharing the story of the Armenian people is what keeps him strong.
My favorite scene is when Oscar, narrowly escapes from the Turks and ends up hitching a ride on a moving train, only to learn that it is crammed full of Armenians. Even though he struggles to stay alive, he attempts to rescue them, but unfortunately fails.
I give this film 3.5 out of 5 stars. The Promise is way more than a love story. It is a fascinating history lesson that shows the realities of war through raw human emotions. Because of the graphic nature of this film, along with a few love scenes, it is appropriately rated PG-13 and, therefore I recommend it for ages 13 to 18, and I know most adults will enjoy it as well. This film opens in theaters on April 21 so, be sure to check it out.
By Tristan T., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
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