Movie review- One Night with the King
The story of Esther – Hadassah – is one of intrigue, suspense, romance and courage. One Night with the King tells the story.
The movie does a breathtaking job at portraying the story. They practically left not one fact out. Although they did add some details, (and usually I’m not a big fan of that when it comes to Biblical accounts) I think that they did job keeping it within bounds. Everything tied to together with the details already given to us in the Bible, and I think that from what they had researched, they did a good job of it. Nothing detracted, in fact for the most part, it enhanced the amazing story of one very special Queen.
The cinematography is great. The set and locations is stunning (especially the palace), and the costumes are beautiful. It is not a cheaply done movie.
What must it have been like to be just a Jewish orphan girl in a pagan city, and then to be ripped away from all that you have loved and subjected to preparing for an interview with the King? Whether or not you think that sounds romantic, it must have been horrible. However, Esther made the best of it, and won the approval of Hagai, the eunuch who was the custodian of the women.
One of my favorite quotes in the movie comes from a scene where the candidates were choosing their jewelry for their one night with the king, they were allowed to choose from the splendor of the treasury. Most of the won were grabbing at any and everything, since they would be allowed to keep it, even if they we not chosen. Esther says to Hagai,
Esther: It matters not what impresses me. How does one choose if they know not what impresses the King? Will you teach me?
Her desire to please the King and not herself won over the King’s heart, and she was was chosen Queen. Doesn’t this sound like a fairy tale? But it’s not! It’s right there in the Bible! The best stories are the ones that are true.
While there are a couple scenes of the King and Queen passionately kissing, nothing else remotely inappropriate is shown. In a behind the scenes book I read, the filmmakers specifically said that did not want any of that in the movie, and for which I am very grateful.
Then comes the rest of the story, which has been stirring throughout the first half of the movie. Haman’s hate of the Jews and his plan to annihilate them. Doesn’t this guy just look evil?
Esther and the King go through some marital struggles, (remember that He had not called her to his chambers for a month?)
Then comes the crowning moment. Where even after all the character she has shown, Esther must summon her courage and do something that will bring her most certain death. She must approach the King not summoned to ask for her life.
And Mordecai told them to answer Esther: “Do not think in your heart you will escape in the King’s palace any more that all the other Jews. For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come into the kingdom for such a time as this?”
Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai: “Go gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the King, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!”
Since re-watching this movie, I have been inspired to go back and re-read the book of Esther. It’s the story of remarkable woman. She had absolutely no idea in the world that she, a Jewish orphan girl, would become Queen of a powerful gentile empire. (Maybe it was somewhere in her daydreams, but not in her realty 😉 ) And further more, that she would have the chance to save the lives of thousands of people. Her people. It could never have happened if God had not brought her into the Kingdom at just the right moment…for such a time as this.
It reminds me of a Michael W. Smith song, which says, “This your time, this is your dance, live every moment leave nothing to chance…embrace the mystery of all you can be. This is your time.”
God has placed you and I in the kingdom for reason. And he will continue to place us in other types of kingdoms (if we follow Him) for purposes we may not (in fact, we probably won’t) know at the beginning. But we must always be prepared, just as Esther went through months of preparation, to do whatever God has called us to do.
The way they did the ending is a little disney-like and I think they could have done better, but it was still well done.
Here is the trailer for the movie. The film quality on youtube does not do justice to the real movie, but you can get the idea.
P.S. I like the movie so much that I have already read the entire script too.:-)