Tonight I was fortunate enough to finally see a movie that is very close to me: The Promise. Set during the Armenian Genocide during World War I, the film, starring big names such as Oscar Isaac and Christian Bale, ties a beautiful backdrop into a horrific event that killed over one and a half million people. Mikael (Isaac) an aspiring medical student, leaves his family and village to embark on a trip to Constantinople where he plans to study medicine under his uncle’s supervision. There, he meets Ana (Charlotte Le Bon) who he later falls in love with, and her partner, Chris Meyers (Bale) a passionate, yet drunken photojournalist from New York.
As the film moves on, the desperation that was evidently present during the time is shown expertly through the actors. The film accurately depicts the horror in losing not only one’s entire family, but also the vast majority of their people. As a whole, The Promise, while not the most outstanding cinematic achievement, is definitely immensely far from the worst. It was accurately able to exhibit a horrible situation and is able to move both Armenians who are familiar with the genocide and those who have only heard of it for the first time alike. My only qualm towards this film is that more Armenian actors could have been casted for bigger roles. Other than that, the movie was outstanding, and those who argue that the film and genocide itself were distorted truly require a thorough reflection on the facts that history has so clearly presented over time, and I kindly implore them to give the film another chance.
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