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A Promise review

Keeping to Zweig's words

Next to Game Of Thrones , Patrice Leconte’s WW1 spanning adaptation of Stefan Zweig’s novella is a bloodless outing for Richard Madden (aka Robb Stark). Madden is drawing-board stiff as Friedrich, personal secretary to a factory owner (Alan Rickman) who falls for the boss’s wife (Rebecca Hall).

Bodices remain stubbornly unripped as our romantics wrestle with desire: they lack chemistry and Leconte’s atypically dry direction never implies it. Gabriel Yared’s score works hard to rouse emotion but when the most exciting scene involves a rat, the erotic frisson clearly isn’t happening.

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Kevin Harley

Kevin Harley is a freelance journalist with bylines at Total Film, Radio Times, The List, and others, specializing in film and music coverage. He can most commonly be found writing movie reviews and previews at GamesRadar+.