dull and confusing historical drama the promise fails
Last Updated : GMT 09:07:40
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Last Updated : GMT 09:07:40
Egypt Today, egypt today

Dull and confusing historical drama The Promise fails

Egypt Today, egypt today

Egypt Today, egypt today Dull and confusing historical drama The Promise fails

Charlotte Le Bon, Oscar Isaac and Christian Bale in The Promise. Jose Haro
New York - Arab Today

More than a century after the death of an estimated one and a half million Armenians during the last days of the Ottoman Empire, arguments still rage over whether it constitutes genocide.
While 28 nations argue it does, most – including Turkey, Britain and the United States – do not recognise the tragedy as such.
The events depicted in the movie The Promise revolve around the massacre, which is generally considered as having started in April 1915.
Financed to the tune of US$100 million (Dh367m) by the late Armenian-American entrepreneur and billionaire Kirk Kerkorian, it has faced accusations of being a propaganda film. It certainly singles out Turkey for criticism for failing to accept and recognise the killings as genocide.
Producer Survival Pictures has said it wants the proceeds from the film’s theatrical run to go to non-profit organisations.
However, it bombed on its North American release last weekend taking only $4.1m, despite a release date set to coincide with the April 24 anniversary of the start of the tragedy.
The fact is The Promise is simply too dull to succeed as propaganda, unless the intention is to dissuade people from watching period dramas.
The script, by Robin Swicord and Terry George, fails to provide nearly enough background explaining the political situation of the time. Nor does it properly explain the reasons why the Ottoman government turned against its minorities in such a terrible way.
We see appalling scenes of massacres, therefore, but it is all a bit unclear as to how it reached that point.
This is an unusual misstep for director Terry George, who is renowned for making films – including Hotel Rwanda and Some Mother’s Son – about heroic endeavours in the most heinous of circumstances.
Once again he positions his tale around individual heroism, showing the events as seen through the eyes of an Armenian trying to escape abroad with his family during the First World War. However, the film is ponderous.
Oscar Isaac (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) stars as Michael Boghosian, a medical student in Constantinople who comes from a region near the Syrian border where Turkish Muslims and Armenian Christians have lived together for centuries.
He faces a moral conundrum when he finds himself in a romantic rivalry with an American photojournalist (Christian Bale) over an Armenian woman Ana (Charlotte le Bon, woefully miscast).
That this stereotypical love triangle makes more of an impact than the atrocities happening around it ensures that no matter how luscious the cinematography by Javier Aguirresarobe, how evocative the score by Gabriel Yared or how stellar the cast list, the film simply fails to enlighten or invigorate.

Source: The National


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dull and confusing historical drama the promise fails dull and confusing historical drama the promise fails

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