This is the breakthrough feature from Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne, who would go on to become a force in world filmmaking. La promesse is a brilliantly economical and observant tale of a boy’s troubled moral awakening.
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The Dardenne's debut is one of their finest- a film that takes the touchy subject of illegal immigration and handles it with a humanistic touch and pits their character in a moral dilemma that is as tragic as it is honest. I loved this movie!
An absolutely wonderful and completely absorbing humanistic film. The cinematography was absolutely gorgeous with a camera that moved almost majestically. The characters themselves were so incredibly human it was astounding, and the actors portraying them were flawless. I have to say for my first Dardenne picture, I am pretty fucking blown away. I cannot wait to watch more.
at start my expectations were huge , it was deserving 5 stars with those actors ... but this is not reality . it is a story which makes confession over a child's conscience . For this reason this is not a intimate movie. european people's point of view for immigrants is still same .There is no change. I dont know when they will stop relieving their consciences over cinema . la promesse 96 , le havre 2011 ... .... .
Minimalist realism, with nothing superficial added for dramatic effect, relying entirely on the ethically bleak situations and the amazingly enacted personas. A touching story full of dilemmas in which little is black and white. This film goes as deep as films ought to go, I honestly feel guilty not giving this five stars.
La Promesse is a substantially rich social drama that depicts a world where injustice and immorality rules, and where even the souls of young teenagers are already corrupt, even if they manage to be deeply pure and righteous in the most decisive moments. The Dardennes' raw, marginal style works like wonders in this intense and hopeless tale, as this one may just be their most complete film.
the flaw in this film (smoothed over in their later work, I think) is that the drama of exceptional circumstances overloads the film's (very deep) emotional capacity. but the characterization of a boy poised between obedience / mimicry (fatherhood as toxin) and ethical self-responsibility (the terror of individuation) is extremely deft, and the fearless ending, which undoes so much narrative work, is frankly perfect.