I typically am quite fascinated with religion based movies, even though I may not be particularly religious myself. But there is no denying the stories in the bible are darned good ones. In particular I have loved Jesus of Nazareth, The Passion of the Christ, The Ten Commandments and The Last Temptation of Christ. The latest film to tackle some bible content is the Old Testament drama One Night with the King.
Hadassah (Tiffany Dupont) is a young Jewish girl who catches the eye of Persian King Xerxes (Luke Goss). So taken is Xerxes with Hadassah that he eventually makes her his Queen and she becomes known as Esther, Queen of Persia. When the state decrees that all Jews be put to death, Xerxes demands Esther stay silent and not interfere, but the strong willed Queen stands up to save her people while hiding her own heritage.
One Night with the King boasts lesser known stars in Goss and Dupont, but it certainly makes up for their lack of fame with its supporting cast including Peter O’Toole, John Noble, Omar Sharif and John Rhys-Davies. Goss and Dupont are actually pretty damn good here but they are overshadowed every time they have a scene with one of those four great actors. Story wise the story is very interesting and quite noteworthy in terms of history and the bible. Ester is quite a well-known Old Testament story and for good reason. There were not many female heroes in the ancient text, so hearing her story was a welcome change. Director Michael O. Sajbel is known primarily as a visual effects guy with films like Hot Shots Part Deux, Broken Arrow and Volcano to his credit, but in the past decade or so has directed a few lower budget films as well. One Night with the King is definitely his biggest production but he handles it like a pro making ancient Persia looks stunning with the budget he had to work with. Despite his resume, Sajbel handles directing duties confidently and assuredly. An interesting story with some great visuals and an amazing supporting cast.
The Blu-ray from 20th Century Fox is very nice. With a modest $20 million dollar budget, Sajbel put all he could on screen and the results are quite breathtaking. The Blu-ray transfer is not everything you get from the usual gigantic budget Hollywood films, but it is rich in color with nice detail and clarity. Overall a very nice presentation. If you like Biblical films or just films about the goings on in ancient empires, you will surely enjoy spending One Night with the King.
Available Now on Blu-ray and DVD.