A Promise

Watch A Promise

  • R
  • 2013
  • 1 hr 35 min
  • 5.7  (4,459)
  • 36

A Promise, a 2013 film directed by Patrice Leconte, tells the story of a love triangle that forms in Germany in the years leading up to World War I. The film stars Rebecca Hall as Charlotte Hoffmeister, a young woman who works as a maid in the household of Karl Hoffmeister (Alan Rickman), a wealthy industrialist who is mourning the recent loss of his wife. Richard Madden plays Friedrich Zeitz, a young engineer who comes to work for Karl and soon falls in love with Charlotte.

From the opening scenes of the film, it is clear that A Promise is an elegantly crafted period drama, meticulously detailed and richly atmospheric. The film is set in an era of great change and upheaval, and Leconte captures this atmosphere with a keen eye for detail, from the bustling streets of Germany's cities to the grandeur of Karl's sprawling mansion. The film is shot in muted colors, evoking the somber mood of the pre-war years, and the cinematography is frequently stunning, with shots of rolling countryside and grand industrial landscapes.

Rebecca Hall gives a nuanced and powerful performance as Charlotte, imbuing her with a quiet strength and a deep sense of longing. Her character is in many ways ahead of her time, with dreams of independent living and a career of her own, and Hall balances this modern sensibility with a sensitivity to the more constrained social norms of the era. Alan Rickman, in one of his final film roles, is similarly excellent as Karl, a man who is struggling with grief and the weight of his responsibilities as a businessman, but who is also capable of great kindness and empathy.

Richard Madden, meanwhile, is a revelation as Friedrich, bringing a youthful energy and a romantic idealism to the role that perfectly complements Charlotte's more practical outlook. The chemistry between the two leads is palpable from their first scenes together, and Leconte has a real knack for conveying the unspoken emotions that pass between them.

While the film's central love story is definitely its strongest element, there are a number of interesting subplots and themes woven throughout the narrative. The tensions between the upper and lower classes in pre-war Germany are a recurring motif, with Friedrich's working-class origins and Karl's aristocratic background serving as a constant source of tension. There are also hints of the political turmoil that would eventually erupt into war, particularly in Friedrich's discussions with his radical-minded friends, who are advocating for political change and socialism.

One slight flaw of A Promise is that the pacing can be a bit slow at times, and some viewers may find themselves growing restless during the film's quieter moments. However, for those who are willing to invest in the characters and the story, the film is a rich and rewarding experience, with a deeply emotional payoff that will stick with viewers long after the credits have rolled.

Overall, A Promise is a beautifully crafted period drama with strong performances, richly detailed visuals, and a deeply affecting central love story. It may not be the most action-packed or pulse-pounding film, but it is a thoughtful and heartfelt exploration of human connection and the power of love in the face of adversity.

A Promise is a 2013 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 35 minutes. It has received mostly poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.7 and a MetaScore of 36.

A Promise
Where to Watch A Promise
A Promise is available to watch free on Plex, The Roku Channel Free and Kanopy. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Hulu, Paramount+, Amazon Prime, Apple TV Channels, FuboTV, The Roku Channel, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play and YouTube VOD. Some platforms allow you to rent A Promise for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 35 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    5.7  (4,459)
  • Metascore