Wednesday, April 18, 2007

One Night with the King

Tiffany Dupont in Gener8xion Entertainment's One Night with the King

I am, in general, wary of movies based on a book, especially if I've read it. It just seems like the "artistic licence" of the production gets in my way of really enjoying the movie, and those based on Biblical stories are typically the worst. "One Night with the King" is quintessential of everything I dislike about re-tellings. The plot deviations and additions in itself makes the movie the most difficult to watch, but in addition to that is some really bad acting. Two other things I disliked about "One Night with the King" are how terribly awkward the script is and also the low-budget opulence, which must be difficult to pull off, I'm sure, but most of it looked really funky.
The story in the Old Testament, if you take a few moments to move beyond the Sunday School storybook cliche, is an amazing story. We were just finishing up a study of the book of Esther before we moved and I was stunned at what a thrilling tale the story of Esther really is (especially on the week that Daniel taught, I might add). The biggest problem in "One Night with the King" is that they didn't seem to believe that the story of Esther was thrilling enough. There are a lot of extra plot points, some of which are difficult to believe and a few are quite poorly executed. (Although I have to say that the scene where Esther read to Xerxes - however unbelievable it might have been - was terribly romantic!)
There were several really really sweet and romantic moments, especially towards the beginning and the movie did a good job of bringing some of the background history of the story alive. However, like so many Christian movies it's so poorly made that it's impact is really minimal.
Throughout the whole movie it feels like the emPHAsis is on the wrong syLAble - if you know what I mean - the ending is especially bad, making it feel more like a story about the triumph of the Jews then it is about the faithfulness of their God.
If this were just another story about a peasant girl and a powerful king, it might have been a good story, but as a re-telling of the story of Esther it really flops.

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