The Promise

Theatrical Release: April 21, 2017
The Promise


Set during the last days of the Ottoman Empire, “The Promise” follows a love triangle between Michael, a brilliant medical student, the beautiful and sophisticated Ana, and Chris—a renowned American journalist based in Paris.

Dove Review

“The Promise” is a gripping and dramatic film enhanced by powerful performances from the lead actors, particularly Oscar Isaac as Armenian Mikael Boghosian, Christian Bale as American journalist Chris Myers, and Charlotte Le Bon as Ana Khesarian, the woman both Mikael and Chris are in love with. Based on true events leading up to World War 1, the Armenians are persecuted by the Turks and the atrocities that occur are unthinkable. Mikael, betrothed to Maral (Angela Sarafyan), is given 400 gold coins by her father as a dowry. Mikael really doesn’t love her, but he wishes to use the money to become a doctor and travels to Constantinople to become a medical student. While there, he meets the Associated Press reporter Myers and his companion, Ana. Ana is a dance instructor, lively and lovely, and Mikael falls for her. But just as their relationship begins to grow, the Turks begin killing the Armenians, and Mikael has to return home.

Mikael’s mother insists he marry Maral, and he is promised the safety of a cabin hidden away, owned by Maral’s father. But no one can hide from the impending war, and soon the entire family is in jeopardy. No one is safe, including the women and children. Ultimately, Mikael sees Ana again, and the question is what will happen between them. The film features praying pastors and a faith message of trusting in God. It also features great heartache and death and the scourge and sorrows of war. Due to the sex and violence content, we are unable to award the movie our Dove Seal. The beautiful scenery and fantastic lighting of the cinematography is, at times, breathtaking. Passionate human beings are portrayed, many who risk and sacrifice their lives for others, and this is contrasted against the brutality of the cold-hearted, ruthless, murdering soldiers. In one scene two men are helping an injured Armenian man walk. He is shot and killed by a soldier who, in turn, tells the two men to “thank me” for easing their burden! This movie will definitely encourage the viewer to appreciate the freedoms that we possess, as opposed to the horrors of genocide. And it speaks of praying with hope. It is a film that will not soon be forgotten by the audience.

Content Description

Sex: Passionate kissing in a few scenes; an unmarried couple have sex and spend the night together; man kisses woman's breasts although nipples are not seen; man hugs woman's clothed rear.
Language: G/OMG-5; H-1; S-1; ba*tard-1; Armenian dogs-1; Russian dogs-1.
Violence: A lot of violence including medical students working on the opened stomach of a corpse (plainly and graphically seen) and excrement from the bowels are sprayed on a man; many people are shot and killed; blood is seen on people's faces and hands; a group of people are seen lying dead after being slaughtered by soldiers; it's mentioned that a pregnant woman who was killed had her unborn baby removed by soldiers; several explosions; several war scenes; a man is executed against a wall and blood is sprayed; flag burning; buildings set on fire and a man near smoke covers his nose, presumably from the stench of death; a child is shot; children as well as adults die; men beat others with clubs; woman hits man with cabbage; a cook is seen with blood on his apron, probably from bloody meat.
Drugs: Cigarette and pipe smoking in a few scenes; several scenes of drinking including wine and champagne; several toasts with champagne are given.
Nudity: Shirtless men; women's bare shoulders; cleavage in a few scenes and woman's thigh; bare midriffs and a woman belly dances.
Other: Tension between characters; death and grief; it's mentioned a woman's father had committed suicide in the past; a "thank God she died" comment.


Company: Open Road Films
Director: Terry George
Genre: Drama
Runtime: 134 min.
Industry Rating: PG-13
Starring: Christian Bale, Oscar Isaac, Shohreh Aghdashloo
Reviewer: Edwin L Carpenter