I was looking for a good movie last night and, as I’m sure you know by now, I have a thing for historical movies and books, particularly if they somehow involve royalty. So this was an easy pick.
This is the biblical story of Esther (originally Hadassah, but she changed her name to hide her Jewish background), who was picked to be the bride of the king of Persia. When her people are threatened to die by the Captain of the Guards, Esther has a decision to make. Save her people or lose her life?
Honestly, I didn’t know this story at all before jumping into it, which I think worked to my advantage. I read a review elsewhere from someone who is a devout Christian and she respectfully ripped it apart. Since I didn’t pay much attention in Sunday school, this was a fresh new story for me.
I really liked the way it was told. There was a bit of a narrator from time to time that wasn’t Hadassah or the king, which had a cool effect on the story. Hadassah is incredibly pretty (and if she looks familiar, she played Frannie in Greek). The king wasn’t as handsome as I was hoping, but we’ll get into that later.
As for characters, I was surprised by them. Hadassah really has some meddle about her. She was willing to do things that no one else would while staying true to herself. I was charmed by her early on. She’s quite daring at times. That’s the kind of spunk I enjoy seeing. It makes for a good role model and I can see why a lot of people like her story. (I admit, as soon as I finished the movie, I went straight to Wikipedia and looked her up. And I was surprised by how closely the movie seemed to be with the original story.)
Now about this king. I was a little disappointed by his looks (but when he’s out of costume, he’s pretty gorgeous, from what I can tell). I was also surprised by his character. At times, he seemed to be wise and mostly fair. At others, completely trusting of his evil, corrupted advisors even when he knew they were wrong. For example, the scene that started it all: when his wife would not come to the banquet. He knew she would not come before he even demanded her presence. Then his advisors told him the queen had to go because it was disrespectful to the king’s authority, yadda yadda yadda. And he listened. But I suppose everyone makes mistakes…
Actually, some of the most endearing characters where the supporting characters. Like the head guard of the Harem. He was very cool, with emotions that sometimes seemed to go deeper than those of the king when it came to Hadassah.
Overall, a very interesting story.