Criminal drama “Promise“. Do not renounce, swearing? Promise
only impossible, and you have nothing will be to reproach. Promises and oaths paved all our life. Since the birth we only also do that we promise, swear, we swear, we give tooth. To, friends, family, fatherland, darlings and absolutely strangers. Often perfectly understanding that we are full owners of the word, so at any time we can crawfish.
After promises noisy crowd excuses, explanations, excuses and justifications follow. But there are words which cannot be taken away back. As well as oaths which are better for not giving. In a similar desperate situation there was a main character of the movie “Promise“ shot in 2001 by the actor and the director Sean Penn.
… An old age - not pleasure, but a reason for retirement. In honor of a sad holiday of the colleague detective Gerry Blek organize a farewell party and give it, knowing his passion to fishing, a trip on fish places in Mexico. However soon evening stopped being languid when it became clear that patrolmen found a corpse of the juvenile girl in the nearby wood. Blek decides to join last time the and responds to the scene.
Having helped out colleagues, Gerry undertakes unpleasant mission. He has to report about the tragedy to the girl`s parents. And when his eyes meet the eyes with devastated mothers, the detective cannot but promise it that it will make everything to find and punish her beloved Jannie`s murderer.
The witness, the boy riding in the wood a snowmobile saw how the place of murder was hastily left by the local little fool, Indian Toby. The last was more than once brought to trial including for rape of the child. The young investigator Stan beats out recognition from mad Toby, but that, having used hitch of the patrolman, commits suicide. Business is closed, parents mourn loss, police and inhabitants are quiet. But only Gerry who heart feels that the Indian did not kill the girl, and a cruel atrocity - work of other, much more cunning and dangerous criminal cannot find any peace.
Gerry lifted archives and found interrelation between Jannie`s murder and some other, crimes, similar in handwriting. But his colleagues are sure - the detective Blek just does not want to reconcile to retirement. Then Gerry leaves a familiar spot and goes there where, in his opinion, will be able to catch the murderer red-handed. He buys small gas station with shop from the road and patiently waits. Sooner or later, the damned pedophile will give himself, and then Black will be able to calm the conscience. He kept the promise …
Very seldom directors join acting skills. There is a number of film figures who combine both forms. Which - who regularly appears on supporting roles in own movies or, like Hitchcock - in incidental kameo that is a peculiar trademark. Far more often actors find in themselves talent not only to participate in film-making process, but also to direct of Examples of that weight: Clint Eastwood, Mal Gibson, George Clooney, Roberto Benigni, Ben Affleck. And, certainly, Sean Penn.
Penn never faced on shootings the legendary actor, the three-time Oscar winner Jack Nicholson. And Penn began the director`s career in 1991 - m, having published the criminal drama “The Indian - the Fugitive“. Its second movie, “The point-policeman at the intersection“, appeared when the company - the distributor Miramaks from the white strip connected with triumph of Tarantino`s “Pulp fiction“ was included into a despondency phase. All projects which appeared from - under a feather of the producer Harvey Weinstein in 1995, failed in hire. And even Nicholson`s participation did not rescue the thriller from oblivion.
But Penn stoically endured failure, though dared to return to a director`s chair only six years later. Its new work was the free screen version of the famous novel of the Swiss playwright Friedrich Durrenmatt. The problem was also that the book was already picturized, and more than once. The first film version appeared in far 1958 - m and was called “It happened by the light of day“. Then in 1996 - m Dutch Rudolf Van Den Bergh removed the option under the heading “Cold Light of Day“. And here, it is unexpected for all, Penn got support of the old friend Nicholson once again to walk on works of the writer. Considering that both had at that time remarkable experience in a criminal genre, the choice of subject surprised nobody.
Penn and Nicholson`s names are capable to draw attention to the project in itself. But, considering last negative experience with “Point-policeman“, the tandem got support of the whole galaxy of stars which agreed to participate in the movie on supporting roles. Among them there is Patrishiya Clarkson, Helen Mirren and the spouse of that time of the director, the actress Robin Wright (carrying at that time a double surname). And also Benisio del Toro, Aaron Eckhart, Sam Sheppard and Mickey Rourke. Well, in each scene we deal with the tallest professionals, and therefore “Promise“ promised (forgive for a tautology) to become one of the most powerful film premieres of the beginning of 2001. However total figures, alas, did not please creators on what there is a variety of reasons.
Professionalism of authors appears from all cracks, at all muffling an emotional rush of the primary source. Many note deliberate coldness, dispassionateness of a tape, and it is necessary to agree with it. Indifferent sliding of a chamber on sad landscapes of British Columbia brings a notable contribution in burdensome expectation of an outcome. By itself, the literary original did not abound with action scenes, but Sean Penn as if forgot that the book can forgive monotony, and to the movie - hardly.
Within two hours we watch how Jack Nicholson`s hero - from grown wise by experience of the police officer is gradually transformed to the person obsessed with the investigation. The detective component serves as a background to psychological researches, and action the most part of timing gives way to meditation and household details. The chain of shots includes fishing, interrogation of witnesses, fight with itself and mistrust of the former colleagues, but does not drag out process. Authors of the movie obligingly push us to an exit, promising an intense ending, but instead show a fig at the end of a tunnel. Figo, by the way, naturally following from logic of the narration, but for the viewer all the same offensive.
Follows from all aforesaid that the thriller “Promise“ is not. It is the full drama, let also with a pronounced criminal shade. Absence of positive characters per se pushes away the viewer for empathy perimeter, turning audience into third-party and so indifferent observer. The only hero, whose sincere tears personally caused sympathy in me - it is the unfortunate father of one of the gone girls performed by Mickey Rourke. In total some three minutes of stay in a shot, and what brilliant and plausible image.
The movie in any time it is impossible to call superficial or boring. Slow, emotionally cold - yes. At least, this history teaches that it is necessary to be careful in the oaths because freight of outstanding promises will pursue us until the end of life.