Movie Review: "One Night With the King"

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I enjoy watching the biblical and historical blockbusters from the 50s and 60s. The costumes, sets, and even acting are so extensive and elaborate. Movie like Ben Hur and The Ten Commandments evoke the feel that there was a time when Hollywood cared about movie making and wasn't ashamed to portray religious movies in a positive light.

"One Night With The King" brings back that past movie making. This is the story of Esther from the Old Testament, and based on the novel "Hadassah: One Night With the King" by Tommy Tenney and Mark Andrew Olsen. I will assume everyone knows the story of Esther (if you don't, find a Bible), but to sum up the plot: King gets rid of old queen, King holds beauty contest, King picks new Queen, Queen is hiding her heritage, Evil advisor wants to kill queen's people, Queen finally tells King, King kills advisor, People are saved, Queen's bravery is remembered forever.

What I liked about the movie:
1) Esther- I really like her character. Very strong and likeable. I loved her costumes and her hairstyles.
2) Mordecai- Who better to play him than Gimli/Sallah?!
3) Haman- Wonderfully wicked. James Callis should be nominated for an Oscar.
4) Xerxes & Vashti's relationship - I really liked how it was played out. In most retellings you are given the impression that the king is a total male chauvinist and Vashti is a feminist. Here you see they have a real relationship and he didn't want to really call her out.

What I didn't Like
1) Peter O'Toole - Wonderful actor but why does he have top billing? He's in the movie for less than a minute!
2) Jesse - I'm not sure the purpose of his character. We all know who Esther was going to marry so he didn't really have a point in the story.
3) Xerxes - I didn't like the guy who played him. He looked weak and kind of girly. I also couldn't really understand his accent.

But I really liked this movie. I felt that it was very faithful to the OT story. Scripture is read and there is even mention of Jesus. At my showing the theater was packed which I was surprised since the movie had already been out for 3 weeks. The audience ranged from young teens to the elderly. I hope more movies like this get made. Christians should go out and support movies like this instead of boycotting all the time. How will studios make better movies if no one goes to see the good ones they put out?


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