Germany, 1912. Friedrich (Richard Madden, Cinderella), a graduate of humble origins, takes up a clerical post in a steel factory, soon becoming the elderly owner Karl’s (Alan Rickman, Harry Potter) private secretary and boarder. There he meets Lotte (Rebecca Hall, Iron Man 3), Karl’s reserved and beautiful young wife. Starting an illicit romance, the two young lovers dreams are dashed when Karl announces he’s sending his secretary to oversee his mines in Mexico. But Lotte makes a promise to Friedrich: when he returns in two years, she will be his no matter what. With the later outbreak of World War I prohibiting his return to Germany, Friedrich must wait eight long years before returning to Europe and finding out if the woman he pines for has kept her promise during that brutal passage of time. With lush period detail, director Patrice Leconte’s A PROMISE is a sumptuous testament to the enduring power of love.


“A Promise” is a period piece romance that stars a lot of actors with a cult fanbase. It’s a film about station superseding matters of the heart. People love each other, but they know that they can’t ignore the graces of those above them. People travel and world events change their lives, but they always try to find a way to return to each other. Even if that means World War I will keep the lovers from reuniting. Alan Rickman plays an unconvincing German.

The problem with doing a movie set on the precipice of a major world event is that a shadow is always cast upon everything. I see it happen a lot on “Downton Abbey” and nobody calls it out. How are we supposed to buy into the drama if we know that world events are just going to stall it out? I don’t want a soap opera, I want to see romance unfurl. Maybe, I’m asking too much.

The DVD comes with a trailer as the sole special feature. The A/V Quality works for standard definition. I did notice a slight haze on the standard definition transfer. The Dolby 5.1 track kicks in where needed. Ultimately, I’d recommend a purchase to the curious.


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