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“It takes the glory of God to conceal a matter and the wisdom of kings to search it out.”
Synopsis: Reminiscent of the epic Hollywood films of old, One Night with the King is a film that depicts the story of Esther, Queen of Persia, who wins the heart of a King and saves the Jewish nation. However, the film closely follows the plot of Nathaniel Weinreb’s novel Esther—which is not altogether a bad thing. Because the film does adhere to the main plot of the Biblical version.
Set in Susa, Persia a young lady (Haddasah) is full of glee as a caravan arrives. Longing to go to Jerusalem to see the Holy Land, Hadassah prepares to leave with the caravan along with her friend, Jesse (Jonah Lotan).
Woven throughout the main storyline are three sub-plots—where Haman (James Callis) came from and why his hatred of the Jewish nation is so intense, Haddasah’s memories of her childhood, and prince Admantha’s (John Noble) conspiracy to take Xerxe’s throne.
Meanwhile, King Xerxes (Luke Goss) holds a great feast for all the people to attend. Jessie and Hadassah (Tiffany Dupont) stop by the palace to see the king and court before Xerxes goes to war, with the Greeks, to avenge his father’s death. Hadassah and Jesse witness the King, unsuccessfully, summon Queen Vashti (Jyoti Dogra). Reminding the king that he is a soldier, not a warrior. She wants him to stay, enhance his kingdom and preserve his throne. In protest of this war, she holds her own feast. When the king summons her to his feast, she refuses to come, stating, “I am queen, and I will not lower my dignity. Or shame my crown by wearing it before your drunk and thinly veiled war council”. Because of Vashti’s refusal, King Xerxes is advised to banish her and select a queen, that is “more worthy.”
In his search for a new queen…
In his search for a new queen, King Xerxes has all the beautiful unmarried women in the city of Susa brought to his palace. As a protective measure, just in case Hadassah is taken, her uncle Mordecai (John Rhys-Davies) changes her name to Esther. As fate would have it, she is taken in with the rest of the chosen women and placed under the care of Hegai, the king’s royal eunuch. She becomes Hegai’s favorite because of her sense of humor, intellect, and integrity,
On their ‘one night with the king’, each woman is allowed to bring along whatever she wishes from the royal treasury. They go in that evening and return in the morning to a second harem. She will not be able to return to the king unless she pleases him and he summons her by name. During a conversation, Hegai discovers Esther can read and listens intensely as she reads to the other contenders, which he enjoys greatly. Late into the night, he brings her to King Xerxes to read to him. She starts reading from a scroll and then begins telling the Old Testament love story of Jacob and Rachel. He is amused and intrigued; wherein he invites her to see what he’s sculpting. They accidentally touch and he dismisses her, saying she shall reach him again. Unbeknown to Esther, the king falls for her. When it is her turn for ‘one night with the king’, she comes plainly dressed with humility, wisdom and a gift to honor King Xerxes. She wins his favor and he offers her his kingdom.
In the meantime, Haman the Agagite has all the king’s servants at the royal gate kneeling before him. Mordecai refuses, declaring he will only abase himself before King Xerxes and kneel before the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Haman, filled with vengeance and hatred, seeks to not only destroy Mordecai but eradicate the entire Jewish nation because generations earlier, his forefathers were persecuted by the Jewish nation.
Out of his love for her, the king raises his scepter.
Prince Memucan (Omar Sharif) advises Queen Esther of Haman’s plot. After being prompted by Mordeci, she goes into fasting and prayer. Against all advice, breaks protocol by going before the king unsummoned, Thus risking her life to plead for her people. Out of his love for her, the king raises his scepter. She invites the king and Haman to a banquet where she reveals her nationality and Haman’s plot to kill the Jews
Most of us know how the story ends. However, it is how the script finishes the story that makes the ending so spectacular. Contrary to previous reviews, with an all star cast, Goss and Dupont played their roles very well, the 3 subplots hold your interest and you walk away with some very valuable life lessons. Filmed entirely in the state of Rajasthan, India, the sets were phenomenal and the costumes outstanding—great cinematography..
Recipient of four Doves by the Dove Foundation and the Dove Family-Approved Seal and has also been endorsed by the American Bible Society, One Night with the King was originally released in 2006, is 123 min, rated PG and can be seen on Tubi or DVD purchased from any online outlets.
Director: Michael O. Sajbel
Writers: Stephan Blinn(screenplay), Mark Andrew Olsen(novel “Hadassah: One Night With the King”) and Tommy Tenney(novel “Hadassah: One Night With the King”)
Stars: Tiffany Dupont, Luke Goss, John Noble, and veteran actors Peter O’ Toole, John Rhys-Davies, and Omar Sharif.
We give One Night with the King
If you love Hollywood nostalgia with some good biblical lessons for the entire family…One Night with the King is worth the revisit.
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