Empires fall and love survives in this new historical epic The Promise. Set during the Ottoman Empire, the predecessor of Turkey, the film follows a love triangle that takes place during the events of World War I and the Armenian Genocide.
Oscar Issac plays an Armenian medical student who meets a beautiful dance instructor named Ana (Charlotte Le Bon), who is also of Armenian heritage. Their shared cultural similarities sparks a deep attraction, but Ana is in a relationship with Chris, an American journalist living abroad played by Christian Bale. Tensions arise when Chris becomes aware of the attraction between Ana and Michael. As emotions begin to intensify, the events of the war and the beginning of the genocide sends all three characters hurdling into different dramatic directions.
This is clearly an epic tale of love, war, and tragedy. Despite the seemingly mixed reactions and reviews, The Promise received a five minute standing ovation when it premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. The love story aspect of the film may seem cliche, but it’s merely a vehicle to present the appalling story of murder and genocide. Based on the trailer, it feels like a really powerful film and the dramatic chops of Oscar Isaac and Christian Bale can’t be denied.
The Promise is directed by Terry George, who also helmed Hotel Rwanda, and opens in theaters this week.