Australian Council on Children and the Media

Promised

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Not suitable for children under 7 and parental guidance to 8 (Nudity. Sexual references. Coarse language)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Promised
  • a review of Promised completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 29 October 2019.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 7 Not suitable due to nudity, sexual references and occasional coarse language
Children aged 7–8 Parental guidance recommended due to nudity, sexual references, and occasional coarse language
Children aged 9 and over Ok for this age group but may lack interest for pre-adolescents

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Promised
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild sexual references and coarse language
Length 93 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

In Melbourne in 1953, two close Italian families come together to celebrate the birth of Angela (Cinzia Meddis). In line with the old Italian tradition of ‘combinare’, Angela's father, Sal (Paul Mercurio) and Joe (Mirko Grillini), father of 5-year-old Robert (Dominic Foti), promise their children in marriage.

21 years later, Angela (Antoniette Iesue) is an ambitious university student and has a boyfriend who she keeps secret from her parents. As Robert (Daniel Berini) returns to Melbourne after studying law at Oxford, the childhood friends realise that, expecting the promise is kept, their fathers have arranged their wedding to take place just a few weeks later. Feeling the immense pressure of tradition and fearing the consequences of disappointing their families, Robert and Angela have to make a life-changing decision and learn that love, like life, can never be perfectly arranged.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Tradition; Pressure of cultural expectations; Changing times; Love.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie including:

  • No violence was noted in this movie, however, Angela's boyfriend, Tomassino, is seen with a black eye, indicating that someone has beaten him up.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • It is unlikely that children under five will be scared or disturbed by this movie.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged five to eight, including the following:

  • It is unlikely that children aged five to eight will be scared or disturbed by this movie.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged eight to thirteen, including the following:

  • Nothing further of concern.

Product placement

  • None noted.

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • Robert's friends speculate whether Robert and Angela have consummated their marriage;
  • Robert is given a key and his friend jokes that it is a key for a chastity belt;
  • Robert's friend indicates sexual interest in Robert's secretary.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • Characters are seen kissing passionately;
  • Robert's secretary is seen topless from behind, showing her bare back, passionately kissing a man. It is indicated that the pair are having or are about to have sex.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • Frequent social drinking;
  • When Sal finds out the marriage is not going well, he drinks what looks like a glass of whiskey;
  • The night before his wedding Robert drowns his sorrows in alcohol and suffers a hangover the next day.

Coarse language

There is some infrequent coarse language in this movie, including:

  • "Arsehole"
  • "Up your arse" (in English subtitles)
  • "Dickhead" (in English subtitles)

In a nutshell

Loosely based on true events, Promised is a charming Italian-Australian romantic drama, likely to appeal to adults and families with teenage children, particularly those who can relate to the cultural traditions. Some nudity, sexual references, and infrequent coarse language make it unsuitable for children under 7 and parental guidance is recommended for children under 9. The themes will most likely lack interest to a pre-adolescent audience.

The main messages from this movie are that life and love work in mysterious ways, that open and honest communication are of utmost importance and that it is important to give people and situations a chance.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • true love
  • love can grow and needs work and commitment
  • honesty
  • self-reflection.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as:

  • holding on to traditions that are not appropriate and contemporary in the given circumstances and times;
  • parents pressuring their children with their own expectations;
  • betrayal and going behind someone's back;
  • gambling and mismanaging finances;
  • turning to alcohol will never be helpful in trying to solve issues.

 

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