One Night with the King

In case you think I’m getting prematurely dotty, I willingly admit that I reviewed One Night with the King in early 2008.  For Judaism it is time for the Festival of Purim and for Christians, it is Easter.  It’s time to dust off my review, add to it and bring it to you again.

I am not Jewish but as a Christian, I have an admiration of the ancient religion and culture. It is simply, yet magnificently beautiful.

There is always turmoil in the Middle East and Israel seems to be a lightning rod.  To even begin to understand that turmoil you have to look back thousands of years; be a student of history.  Megilah of Esther, is an ancient scroll that recounts the heroics of Queen Esther in ancient Persia. If you don’t know who Esther was or about her pivotal role in history, you need to watch this movie.

You take one young orphan girl and one hunky king and you have the making of a luscious tale. This one is a true tale, chronicled by history. The life of Esther is one of the most inspiring Biblical accounts found in the Old Testament.  Much beloved by Jews, Christians and Persians alike, Esther is the story of deliverance for the Jewish people. 

One Night with the King has lavish costumes, giggling harems, a vast, ancient city, huge armies, black riders, and blood feuds. Yet, it is truly the story of a young woman, a Jew, living in exile in Susa, Persia, with her cousin in about 485 BC.

There is a back-story of a 400 year old feud between the Jews and the Agagites that intertwines throughout the movie. This is a part of the story I had never heard that helped me have a better understanding of this period in history. This is an intricately-woven story with intrigues, treachery and comeuppance a plenty, but you need to pay attention to the first few minutes because it sets the stage for the story.   

Esther, played by, Tiffany Dupont is fresh and beautiful and offsets King Xerxes (did I mention that he is hunky?) played by Luke Goss. There are stunning performances by screen legends, Peter O’Toole, Omar Sharif and John Rhys-Davies that rounds out the cast nicely. 

Based on the best-selling novel “Hadassah: One Night with the King” by Tommy Tenney and Mark Andrew Olsen, this dramatic big-screen adaptation chronicles Esther’s (Hadassah) rise from peasant to queen, her courageous role in the redemption of her people from destruction and death, and her winning of the love of the most powerful man in the kingdom—by seeking his heart rather than the riches of his kingdom.

One Night with the King was shot entirely on location in Rajasthan—India’s very own land of kings. Digital vistas were added to this Indian castle to recreate the ancient capital, Persepolis. One Night with the King exudes exotic splendor.  I have yet to figure out what catches the attention of the “Academy” but in my humble opinion this movie should have at least been nominated for an Oscar for costume and set design.  The costumes alone are worth your time and money to rent this movie. Hope you have a big screen—this movie is majestic!  As always, I welcome your comments at chastings@rockcliff.com.

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