Not the most inspirational biblical tale ever put to film

In the past we have been treated to various stories from the bible, with the likes of David and Goliath to epic masterpieces such as The Ten Commandments, and of course the big stars of their day, Charlton Heston and Yul Brynner. No matter their size or budget, the movies always have a moral to them. Even by todays moral standards some stories can be applicable, however they are not always popular, with Martin Scorsese’s The Last Temptation of Christ being one that was hated by the Christian faithful. My personal favourite biblical movie has to be the brilliant The Robe starring that amazing actor from the golden age of cinema Victor Mature, but will we see such a spectacle ever again? Good biblical films are few and far between these days but Mel Gibson did do a splendid job with his take on Jesus’ final hours in The Passion of the Christ.

Set in 482 BC Persia, The Book of Esther could only dream of attempting to be like any of these movies, because even with a decent cast, this low budget movie can’t come close. It’s very loosely based on the biblical ‘Book of Esther’ which sees a beautiful Jewish woman turn a king into a nice, non Jew killing ruler who finally sees the light and follows his heart. Not exactly gripping stuff but it’s up to the filmmakers to make these very plain stories into movies that we want to watch, and hopefully slip in a nice little morality lesson. I’m not sure that it tells a story of anything that hasn’t been told so many times before and most certainly told better, but even the story of true love conquering all, is extremely bland and uninspired so why bother?

The cast were not bad but some of the key players could have done a heck of a lot better, but in all fairness, this was Joel Smallbone’s (Xerxes) first movie. The best performances were from Jen Lilley (Esther) and the brilliant Robert Miano (Mordecai) who plays Esther’s uncle. The sets were cheap looking and I didn’t like the camera work, even the script was very clumsy. The dialogue didn’t flow at all when anyone was speaking more than a few words, and felt completely unnatural. The film is so underplayed that I can’t see anyone really enjoying it, but if you aren’t a fussy person (unlike me) then it will do in a pinch and keep you occupied for a few hours.

More for bible film fans.

Grade: C • (5/10)

Nav Qateel, Influx Magazine.