I think that sometimes when it comes to Biblical movies we may have some expectations when going to watch it at a theater or at home. I think sometimes we may tend to protect these stories since most of us have grown up reading them or because these stories have spoken to us in different ways. When I first started watching One Night with the King I didn’t know what to expect but was hoping the story was told right. The story of Esther is personally one of my favorite stories from the Bible and I was definitely looking forward to seeing it onscreen.
To my surprise, One Night with the King was so well done and was a very accurate depiction of the book I’d grown to love. Some details were added to complement the story but the film’s core and essence remains the same as it was written in the Bible.
This Biblical movie was originally released in 2006 and has a great group of actors portraying these characters. Among the cast we have Peter O’ Toole, Luke Goss, Tiffany DuPont and John Rhys-Davies. The film is inspired by the book in the Bible but it’s also based on the novel by Tommy Tenney and Mark Andrew Olsen called “Hadassah: One Night with the King”. To tell you more in detail, this Biblical movie is about Esther, a young jewish woman who becomes the queen of Persia and risks her life by going before the King of Persia to ask that he frees her people from annihilation.
One Night with the King places us in Persia and begins with Hadassah wanting to go to Jerusalem and is planning to leave with her friend Jesse and the caravan. Before they leave they stop by the feast King Xerxes is holding in his palace and witness the events from a distance. There were plans on going to war, all men were inebriated and wanted to see Queen Vashti. King Xerxes sends for her but she refuses to come before him and all his guests while they’re drunk and fed up with war. Because of this, King Xerxes was counseled to banish her and choose a new worthy and deserving queen. Now beautiful virgins from around Susa are brought to the palace to choose one to stay behind, keep the kingdom united while he goes to war. Haddasah is brought in and does as her uncle Mordecai (one of the King’s scribes) once said to her, to not mention her true nationality, family and mention that her name is Esther. Along with other eligible women, Esther is taken through different treatments, essence & perfume baths under the supervision of the King’s eunuch, Hegai. Showing her true self and honesty, Esther forms a friendship with the eunuch.
The rules are pretty simple, each woman has only “one night with the king” and is allowed to have all the jewels, wear and bring whatever she desires from the palace. She will not be able to go back to the King unless she delights him and he calls especially for her. During Esther’s preparation, Hegai learns that she can read and takes her in the night to the King’s quarters so she could read to him. From this the King is intrigued by her and asks for her to come again. When her time comes to present herself to the King, she chooses not to wear anything extravagant and shows him her heart. This way she gets the King’s favor and chooses her as queen.
On the other hand in this Biblical movie, Haman, the King’s top official has the people of the town kneel before him. Mordecai is presented before Haman but refuses to kneel choosing to only kneel before God and his King. Mordecai declares himself as a Jew and in that moment Haman is filled with anger and need for vengeance for this embarrassment. He then plans to annihilate Mordecai and his people.
Esther soon hears about this plan and is horrified. She breaks any type of protocol and goes before the King without being summoned which means risking her life but she was thinking of her people. The King lowers is scepter and saves her from a sure death. She invites them both to a banquet and there reveals Haman’s plan as she declares herself a Jew. A risk surely but it would be the help her people needed.
One Night with the King is one of my favorite Biblical movies and in my opinion, it is so well done. 100% recommend.
Here are some other Biblical movies that I enjoy:
The Bible: The Epic History Channel Mini-Series DVD