CSC #8 One Night With The King

If you love the film genre of biblical epics¢â‚¬¦
there is good news
They are back¢â‚¬¦

In just a few months The Nativity will hit the big screen
And right now, at a theatre near you, you can see
One Night With The King

One Night With The King tells the biblical story of Esther
a young Jewish woman who married a King
and in so doing, saved the Jewish people from destruction.
Esther’s story is the basis of the Jewish celebration of Purim.

Variety magazine online says of the movie: Blessed with abundant production values and a minimum of campy excess, One Night With the King is a surprisingly satisfying attempt to revive the Old Hollywood tradition of lavishly appointed Biblical epics aimed at mainstream audiences.”

Variety goes on to “Credit cinematographer Steven Bernstein (“Like Water for Chocolate”), costumer Neeta Lulla and production designer Aradhana Seth for providing sufficient movie magic to help revive a genre that, in recent years, has been relegated to broadcast and cable TV.”

You’ll see some veterans of classic epic films

Omar Sharif and John Riess Davies appear as does Peter O’Toole, who despite his prominent billing, appears in only one scene ¢€œ
with an explosive flash of righteous fury — as the prophet Samuel.

One critic complains “unfortunately [O’Toole and Sharif are] separated by five centuries, and never share a scene. For a movie with the most righteous of intentions, that’s perhaps the most grievous moviemaking sin of all.

Michael Medved describes it as a beautiful, inspiring film, a love letter from Christians to the Jewish community. He also warns that there are fictional elements not found in the biblical account¢â‚¬¦some viewers will find this distracting.

This film is made by Matthew Crouch, son of TBN’s Paul Crouch

In One Night With The King, a visually rich cinematic feast,
Matthew Crouch shows he has come a long way from his earlier film
The Omega Code.

Unlike Facing the Giants, which was made for $100,000 with amateur actors, this film cost over $20 million, (not a lot for an epic) and employed professionals throughout¢â‚¬¦

Oddly, given our Christian belief in the importance of story¢â‚¬¦
One Night With The King seems a bit jumbled and difficult to follow at times¢â‚¬¦

Through Stephen Blinn’s script based on the novel Hadassah by Tommy Tenny
The filmmaker’s try to pack a lot of historical context into the film
(through extensive narrative and monologue)
while at the same time concentrating on the story’s romantic elements¢â‚¬¦

Unfortunately the simplicity of the biblical account
Is rendered more difficult to understand by this screenplay¢â‚¬¦

I think many filmgoers will agree with CT’s Russ Breimeier who commented: “If those who were raised on the story of Esther have as much trouble keeping up with this as I suspect they will, imagine how muddled One Night with the King will seem to anyone without the personal interest or acumen to invest in it. A tighter script could have made this a classic Bible epic.”

Though One Night with the King is PG for violence, some sensuality and thematic elements
I suspect most younger family members will be numbed by
The complicated storytelling
Rather than offended by the mild thematic elements¢â‚¬¦

THE good news is
that ultimately the exotic look of the film
and essential redemptive nature of the story win out¢â‚¬¦

Artistically it is way better than Facing the Giants
But comes nowhere near approaching an epic like
Lawrence of Arabia¢â‚¬¦

Though One Night With The King is not a great movie,
but it is a good one¢â‚¬¦
And I find that encouraging¢â‚¬¦

Films made by Christians
are making it to the big screen
And that is good news¢â‚¬¦

Some of these filmmakers are getting better
and that is great news!

Posted in Staublog, Thoughts in October 24, 2006 by | No Comments »

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