One Night with the King
Rated PG; Directed by Michael O. Sajbel; Starring Tiffany Dupont, Luke Goss, John Rhys-Davies, Omar Sharif, Tommy “Tiny” Lister
Oh goody — a biblical epic on our local movie screen. It’s been too long. As someone who as a child faithfully watched all the classic bible-based movies when shown on TV, I was thrilled to see one back in the theater. I thrilled to the spectacle and adventure shown in movies like Quo Vadis, Samson and Delilah, and The Ten Commandments. This kind of movie has gone out of fashion and though One Night with the King tries to bring it back in style I doubt it is the start of a trend.
The story is right out of the bible, from the Book of Esther. Young Hadassah (Tiffany Dupont) lives with her uncle, Mordecai (John Rhys-Davies), a scribe at King Xerxes’ (Luke Goss) palace. When the king must find a new wife Hadassah is rounded up with many other young women to be a candidate for the position of queen. Afraid that being a Jew could harm her, Mordecai suggests she hide her religion and use the name of Esther. Eventually winning the king’s attention, Esther becomes the queen. As queen, Esther must face down the king’s scheming advisors and somehow convince the king to save the Jews from imminent slaughter.
There is a lot to enjoy in this movie. The costumes and sets are gorgeous. Unfortunately, the movie needs some tighter editing, a less klunky score, and a few script and cast changes wouldn’t hurt either. It is a shame as this is one of those movies that had lots of potential and there are moments when that potential is reached, but it fails more times than it succeeds.