Movie Review – “One Night With the King”

“One Night With the King” is the visual retelling of the story of Esther, the young Jewish girl who became queen, and saved her people from destruction. The synopsis on the DVD is as follows(be aware that she changed her name to Esther to protect her identity in this version of the story).


“Born into poverty, Hadassah grows up to become a beauty who catches the eye of the powerful King Xerxes — and ultimately becomes his bride. But despite her position, Hadassah’s life is in danger, and the state has decreed that all Jews will be put to death. Defying warnings to remain silent, however, Hadassah struggles to save her people, even as she attempts to hide her heritage, in this exciting and inspiring story about courage, faith, and destiny.”

I had heard of this film before, and as my Sunday School class has begun a study on the book of Esther, I thought it appropriate that I watch it. To start out, I will say that the acting was SUPERB! Tiffany DuPont absolutely shone as she brought my favorite Biblical character to life. She portrayed Esther as I always imagined her: graceful, Godly, kind, and beautiful. John Rhys-Davies(Lord of the Rings, The Princess Diaries 2) was an incredible Mordecai as well! His faith and trust in God was inspiring, and I felt like it was the most accurate representation I had seen of the character. King Xerxes was not at all like I imagined him. To be honest, I always saw him as being closer to middle aged, a bit stuffy, etc. Never did I expect young and handsome with a fiery spirit. Despite this, I found myself enjoying Luke Goss’s interpretation of the character. Haman was every bit as evil and snakelike as I imagined him to be, making me shudder with every carefully chosen word. I would like to point out that they took some creative liberties with the story though. We are never told in the Bible whether or not Esther loves the king, yet in the film she is head over heels in love. In the film there is also a young man, Jesse, whom she has feelings for before being taken to the palace, and there is the added backstory of Haman murdering her parents when Esther was young. Despite this, I found that the story largely remained true to the Biblical account.

One of the best things about this movie was how clean it was. The most disturbing sequence for me was at the beginning of the film, where we see a battlefield strewn with bodies. While it wasn’t too graphic, we do see a bit of blood. And the sexual content is surprisingly minimal. While there are some implications about certain things (we are told in very vague terms what constitutes a Eunuch, but again, nothing inappropriate), we are not shown. Obviously, the candidates for queen didn’t spend their one night with the king playing board games, we are never shown what they do. The most sensual thing we see is Esther and the king sharing a few passionate kisses.

I give this film 5 stars for people aged 11 and up. I highly recommend that everyone take the time to see this movie, especially young women, as we can learn a lot from Esther. Instead of adorning herself with elaborate clothes and jewels for her one night with the king, she chose to be simple, and allow grace and Godliness to be her adornment. So many wonderful messages can be gleaned from this film! And the book was very good as well, though I personally enjoyed the movie more!


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