Say the words “biblical epic,” and certain things come to mind. Charlton Heston, Cecil B. Demille, Yul Brynner. Heavy makeup, especially eyeliner. English accents, for sure. Grandiose sets, costumes, and plot points, at the expense of biblical accuracy. Long speeches set in archaic language, with lots of “lo, behold”s and “yea, though thou hast”s. Some sort of allusion to Jesus/salvation. And for the person with more than a passing knowledge of biblical texts, a frustrating time is generally a given.

Which is what makes “One Night With the King,” Gener8Xion Entertainment Inc.’s new film of the story of Esther–out in selected theaters this Friday–so refreshing. Instead of my internal voices saying “that’s not right,” or “jeez, what a misinterpretation of the text,” I was able to sit back and actually enjoy the story, with which I, bearing the name of the queen for more than three decades, am more than a little familiar.

More at Beliefnet.

About the author

Esther Kustanowitz

For more posts by Esther, see EstherK.com, MyUrbanKvetch.com and JDatersAnonymous.com.

12 Comments

  • You have 27 comments over there, and a lot of interfaith dialogue hypersensitivity, so I am going to demand here why you didn’t answer the most obvious question in your article.

    Will the dvd version be uncut? And will there be an expanded party/Vashti scene?

  • There are too people who can carry off gold eye-shadow. It’s all in the attitude. It’s got to be divine, not Devine. Professional makeup people know how to do this, they have been to school, ask them. And how they do love a good canvas to work on, for once! Regular features, that kind of thing.

    Life isn’t all ingenue. A queen is not an ingenue, no matter what her age.

    Black jet is nice too. Like Queen Victoria.

  • Um I liked the review Esther. But a Tiffany Dupont as Esther? The mind shudders at the comparison. It must really be acting. And of course it can’t be a remake of LoA until we see one of the Silver Ghosts go by. Not the fleshy types, but these:
    [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rolls-Royce_Armored_Car] Cheers, ‘VJ’

  • “one night with the king” sounds naughty… i second dk’s interest in an uncut version.

  • Seeing as how this film has the “hekhsher” of the American Bible Society, I doubt any uncut version will provide what you’re looking for. There is a Vashti scene, but it’s political and I found it largely untitillating. Although maybe you guys would disagree.

    And in terms of Ms. Dupont, I was skeptical. But she was much more believable as a Jewess than Renee Zellweger…now THAT really would have made me mad.

  • Bad bad bad film.

    Either make it an over-the-top tale filled with ethical dilemmas, adult themes and innuendo (as it is written) or make it a Disney romp – but don’t try to do both. Jesse the eunuch? He could have been her pet unicorn and it wouldn’t have made a lick of difference in the movie. I was robbed at the mega-plex!!

    Wake me up when Peter Jackson re-does “The Ten Commandments.”

  • Haish Hagadol: We posted about this film like a million years ago. We gave you advance notice. We told you the film was produced by Mormons and that it would suck as a result. WE FRIGGIN WARNED YOU! Why did you go ahead and see it anyway?

    I mean Mormons fer chrissakes.

  • ck – that was a long time ago. Wonder why it took this long to come out? Just read a short scathing review (Stephen Witty, Newshouse) that saw through the film and the purpose of the people behind it:

    “It’s a good story, but it’s never clear why it appealed to these (Evangelical Christian) filmmakers… Politics, apparently, as the filmmakers have cast the ancient Hebrews as the spiritual ancestors to the Founding Fathers…”

    Okay, on three – let’s all run back to ck’s Jesus Camp post… okay, let’s not and say we did.

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