One Night With the King brings the story of Esther to life on a scale that will remind viewers of big screen biblical classics like The Ten Commandments. But does director Michael O. Sajbel's film do justice to this beloved Old Testament story?
Is Stephan Blinn's screenplay faithful to Scripture—or to the Tommy Tenney novel of the same title, which varies from the Bible story on some significant points?
Is Tiffany Dupont up to the challenge of portraying this complex character?
Christian film critics are coming to different conclusions.
Russ Breimeier (Christianity Today Movies) says, "One Night with the King may well be the best-looking movie from a Christian company to date, with sumptuous visuals that are both artistic and authentic. … Praise is also deserved for the film's impressive casting."
And yet, Breimeier finds some significant flaws. "Blinn's screenplay … is as complicated as Shakespeare crossed with The History Channel, constantly trying to explain the cultural and historical points without allowing the audience to comfortably sit back and enjoy the storytelling. … It ends up trying to say too much in too little time."
Breimeier concludes that the filmmakers have "made a commendable attempt at telling the story … and giving it sweeping production values to match. … But a good film still needs to communicate its story effectively, even one as familiar as this one is to Christians and Jews. … A tighter script could have made this a classic Bible epic."
The story of Esther could certainly be made into a great film someday, says Steven D. Greydanus (Decent Films). "One Night with the King is not that film. In a number of ways, it's not even that story."
Greydanus says the ...1