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“The Promise”-A Movie Review

Arthur Khatchatrian
Staff Writer

Mesmerizing is the only word that can encompass the magnificence of “The Promise.” From the beginning of the film to the end, the viewer is captivated by its invigorating scenes and direction that keeps one on the edge of their seats.

“The Promise” deals with the topic of the Armenian Genocide in a way that resembles that of a high-production, sophisticated action-drama movie, rather than the typical hour-long documentary. It is a complete modern movie, incorporating all that goes into major Hollywood movies, yet maintaining its historical purpose and message. The movie was full of thrilling scenes that kept one’s eyes glued to the screen and clearly shows the amount of work that went into shooting each scene.

“The Promise,” directed by Terry George (“Hotel Rwanda”), features renowned actors Os-car Isaac, Christian Bale, and Charlotte Le Bon. The late Fresno native and philanthropist Kirk Kerkorian fully funded the film’s $90 million dollar budget. Without his vision and dedication to the Armenian cause, “The Promise” would not be here today for the world to see. Anyone who watches this film will leave full of emotion, completely speechless, and in awe.

The film revolves around the story of an Armenian man named Mikael (Isaac), an aspiring medical student from the town of Siroun, who ventures to Constantinople to further his studies. However, Mikael soon finds himself falling love with a French-Armenian dance instructor named Ana (Le Bon). She is however already in a relationship with an American reporter named Chris (Bale). Mikael and Ana’s budding happiness and bliss is cut short when the Turkish government orders the deportations and killings of the Armenian population.

As an Armenian, it was phenomenal to see not only some of the stories of my own ancestors brought to the screen, but the countless stories of Armenians throughout the world that had never been depicted to this extent before.

“The Promise” is significant in so many ways, but one of the most important is the attention it brought to the Armenian Genocide. Many of the actors in the movie have become vocal advocates against Genocide denial because of their involvement in this project.

For those who have not seen this movie yet, you are missing out on something absolutely priceless. Whether Armenian or not, “The Promise” shares with the world a message that every viewer can relate to.