Film Review: Promised
Director: Nick Conidi
Cast: Paul Mercurio, Antoniette Iesue, Mirko Grillini, Tina Arena, Daniel Berini, Sunday Barca Irving, Santo Tripodi, Stavros Psoras, Giuseppe Fusca
Running Time: 95
Australian Distributor: Umbrella Entertainment
Nick Conidi has delved into his Australian-Italian background to write and direct this romantic drama. Based very loosely on the story of his own parents, it tells the story of two young Italians in the mid 1970s – Angela (Antoinette Iesu) and Robert (Daniel Berini) – who were promised to each other in marriage when they were children. Their fathers now wish to see the marriage take place, but some resistance results.
Robert has returned from studying at Oxford in England and walks into his own legal practice, and is in favour of the marriage. In fact, he’s in love with her. Angela thought the promise might have been forgotten and is against the union, however she cannot disappoint her parents.
Conveniently, the decision is made for her when a disagreement between Angela and her boyfriend see them part ways. The newly married couple cannot reconcile and they spend all their time apart.
As far as the performances are concerned it is good to see Tina Arena and Paul Mercurio return to Australian screens to play Angela’s traditional Italian parents. There are other worthy performances throughout.
There are moments in the film where things are a little too smooth and simple, and will require the audience to think outside the square a little. This is especially the case in those moments where the dialogue feels a tad stilted and clichéd.
Promised can still be considered a charming film, painting a picture of one important element of Australian urban history: post-war Italian migration.
Nick Conidi shows potential as a big-time director and just needs to sharpen up from the average screenplay to loom large on the Australian film scene.
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