What You Need To Know:
ONE NIGHT WITH THE KING brings history to life in a meaningful, realistic way. Despite being slightly repetitive in places, the script by Stephan Blinn, based on writer Tommy Tenney's original novel, is very clever. There are also some quick jumping conflict resolutions at the end. Most of these structural problems are very minor, however, and will not be noticed by most viewers. Anyone who loves the Bible will love this movie, whether they are Christian or Jewish.
(BBB, C, Pa, V, A, M) Very strong Christian, biblical worldview taken from the Book of Esther in the Bible with mentions of other gods by the pagans but not henotheistic; no foul language; light violence such as swordfight, flashback that people were killed in a massacre with some bodies on the ground, man hit with club, man about to stab people but nothing shown, talk about poisoning the king, and hints of violence; kissing, references to multiple women spending one night with the king, and references to the king being in another room with a woman, but nothing shown; upper male nudity; some drinking; no smoking; and, deceit, conspiracy, attempted genocide, and villainy rebuked.
ONE NIGHT WITH THE KING is impressive for many reasons. The most apparent is that it has big production values with good-looking sets and crowd scenes on a moderate budget. Secondly, it is a well-told story even if it is slightly too long and has a few, very minor plot problems. It is certainly as good as most Hollywood movies and once more dispels the notion that Christians can’t make good movies. Finally, it is impressive because it tries to bring back the biblical epic in an earnest and entertaining way.
The story opens with little Hadassah playing with her family, and a flashback to King Saul being told to annihilate all of the Agagites, a Baal-worshipping, child sacrificing people. Due to Saul’s negligence, the Queen escapes Saul’s grasp. Samuel the Prophet is upset, and the Queen’s offspring harbors and intense hate for the Jews.
Years later in Persia, Haddassah is orphaned. She is raised by her Uncle Mordecai. When King Xerxes puts away his disobedient Queen, Hadassah is one of the women called up to be considered as the next queen. She changes her name to Esther to hide her Jewish roots. Of course, anyone who has read the Bible knows that she becomes the favorite of the King. Haman, who is the descended from the Agagite queen who escaped Saul, is intent on killing all the Jews. For such a time as this, Esther must put her life on the line and break protocol to go before the King to plead for her people.
The script by Stephan Blinn, based on writer Tommy Tenney’s original novel, is very clever. The movie brings history to life in a meaningful, realistic and inspiring way. The story becomes a little long and slightly repetitive in places, with some static development. There are also some quick jumping conflict resolutions at the end. Most of these structural problems are very minor and will not be noticed by most viewers. Anyone who loves the Bible will love this movie, whether they are Christian or Jewish.
Another slight flaw is that the actors have very divergent accents, from British to Los Angeles valley accents. Sometimes the accents do not create harmony, but sound like clanging cymbals. After a few minutes of the movie, however, the story sweeps the audience along, and the casting difficulties become unnoticeable.
The most difficult part of the movie is the oppressive 1950s type music. Perhaps, the audio tracks will be better balanced when the film reaches theaters. The music is not bad, but it sometimes sounds too much like stock biblical music of the 1950s.
Esther is not the type of beauty mentioned in the Bible who would sink ships or change kingdoms, but Tiffany Dupont does a good job of bringing Queen Esther to life and deserves commendation for tackling a very difficult role with grace and savior fare. John Rhys-Davies adds a lot of heart to his role as Uncle Mordecai.
Overall, we commend the filmmakers. MOVIEGUIDE® urges people to go see ONE NIGHT WITH THE KING. Aside form a few negative nabobs, most people will love this impressive, dramatic and inspiring biblical epic.
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