Friday, April 25, 2008

One Night with The King -- Gag Me With a Spoon!

Last night my husband and I watched the movie, "One Night with the King", which is supposed to be about the story of Esther. It's based on the Christian romance novel "Hadassah". (Does anyone else find it unnerving that a man is writing romance novels?) If I had known that it had been based on that, I never would have bothered with the movie. But, I unwittingly believed that it was going to be the story of Esther.

Let's start with what was good about the movie.

The costumes and the set.

Okay. Now that we're done with that, we can progress.

First of all, the writer felt the need for Esther to wear this crystal pendant that was passed down from her mother and father. It contained her cultural identity. When light hit it, Stars of David shown all over the room -- but only people who could "get it", not people like Haman, could see the stars.

Oh please!

In fact, that's how she reveals to Xerxes and Haman her true identity. Never mind that the Jews didn't adopt the Star of David as an official sign of Judaism until 1000s of years later. So neither Haman nor Xerxes would know what the stars meant. With Christian fiction, accuracy is just not necessary!

Another hilarious part was King Xerxes. King Xerxes, who banished his first wife Vashti because she refused to parade about in front of his friends, falls in love with Esther. The implication is that he was faithful to her during the year of choosing a bride (not sure what he did with all those other women showing up expecting him to perform his magisterial duties), and after their marriage, scoffs at the idea of using one of his concubines.

Of course, if he's not planning on using them, then why does he have them?

The influence of Mordecai is totally downplayed in this story and they totally fabricate a story line of Esther desiring to go back to Jerusalem because of her intense desire to connect with her heritage. They invent a couple characters, one of which is a boyhood friend that they imply Esther was falling in love with until he is forced to be a eunuch. Perhaps his story would have been more interesting than hers.

This movie was a sad sad joke. Why would you take a great story and then get all Hallmarky about it and change it into something different? Good heavens! This was never a love story! It was a story about a beautiful woman who used her wiles to protect her people! She did what was right, at her own risk, and allowed God to work through her action of approaching the king. At this point in time, the Jews could return to Jerusalem if they so desired. The ones who remained were not the ones who were desiring to "connect with their heritage" or were devoutly dedicated to God, or probably even their own people.

In addition to the inaccuracy in the story, the acting was terrible. Esther came off like a child, and then never seemed very regal. Xerxes had some kind of bizarre accent. Lots of people mumbled (maybe I'm getting old and my hearing is bad). The scenes jumped around and they used lots of weird camera angles. It was confusing for me and I know the story, so I can only assume it would be very confusing for someone who didn't know it.

As my husband said at the end of the movie, "I think we just watched the Amish Romance Novel Version of the book of Esther."

"One Night with the King" -- 2 thumbs and 2 big toes down.

1 comment:

Cole Jacobs said...

I tried to watch it once too. Congratulations for having the fortitude to sit through it. The corporate christian entities that are behind these junky pop Christian movies try to tell Christians they should go see thier dumb embarassing tripe because "we've got to take Hollywood back" What? Why? Besides, when it comes to Biblical based themes at least Hollywood made some decent movies like "Samson and Delilah". Go Victor Mature!