Following the conquest of Babylon the King of Persia gives a banquet for his people at which he requests the presence of his wife Vashti. As she refuses the King's demand Ahasuerus disowns Vashti and goes in search of her ... more »replacement. In his harem he meets the young girl Esther who immediately captivates him with her charm and beauty. Unaware of her Jewish heritage King Ahasuerus falls in love with Esther. Esther then reveals to Ahasuerus that she is Jewish and asks him to show her people mercy because of a planned genocide of the Jews by the King's right-hand man Haman. In doing so she saves the lives of many innocent people and paves the way for their return to Jerusalem.System Requirements: Running Time 91 MinFormat: DVD MOVIE Genre: DRAMA Rating: NR UPC: 031398745525 Manufacturer No: VM7455D« less
Alejandra Vernon | Long Beach, California | 03/14/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Of all the Bible sories, I find the The Book of Esther does not flow as easily as others, but nevertheless, this film based on the story is interesting; it is faithful to scripture, with a few additions to fill out the plot.
Queen Esther is beautifully cast with English actress Louise Lombard (seen in 2004's "Hidalgo"), and Oscar-winner F. Murray Abraham excellent as her cousin and guardian Mordecai.
King Ahasuerus (historically known as Xerxes) is a character I find hard to like; he appears to be an indecisive and capricious man, who puts all his trust in the evil Haman (well played by German actor Jurgen Prochnow). It is Esther who courageously stands up to Haman when he tries to annihilate all the Jews of the land.The main addition to the story is the inclusion of Ezra as a friend of Mordechai. Ezra was the scribe and priest who led a remnant of the Jewish captives back to Jerusalem, but this would come twenty years later, under the reign of King Artaxerxes, in 457 B.C. Having Ezra in the story also emphasizes the importance of God, whereas in the Book of Esther, no mention of God is made.
Directed by Raffaele Mertes (who was the cinematographer for most of the other films in this television series), it has a good score by Carlo Siliotto, lovely cinematography by Giovanni Galasso in the exotic area of Quarzazate, Morocco, with the use of a wonderful color palette in the costumes, using rich earth tones and shades of teal and olive greens.The story of Esther is the basis for the Jewish Festival of Purim, which is a grand time for children; it's a time to dress up in costumes and masks, eat sweets, and best of all, twirl one's gragger (noisemaker) whenever Haman's name is mentioned in the reading of the story."
ONE OF THE BEST
Alejandra Vernon | 01/17/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I MUST SAY I'M A CRITIC, BUT THIS MOVIE IS REALLY REALLY GREAT!! IT IS SCRIPTUAL AND THE ACTORS DID A GREAT JOB. ESTHER WAS NOT PORTRAYED AS A HOLLYWOOD STAR, BUT AS A JEW. THE KING IS THE COMIC IN THIS MOVIE. I LOVED HIS FIRST MEETING WITH ESTHER, A TRUE ROMANCE. MORDECAI AND ESTHER'S TRUE TEST OF FAITH WILL MAKE YOU LOVE THE STORY MORE. I JUST DISAGREED WITH THE PART OF ESTHER'S ENTRANCE INTO THE COURT TO SPEAK TO THE KING, WHERE HE WAS SUPPOSED TO HOLD OUT THE SCEPTURE TO HER, INSTEAD OF HIM LEAVING HIS THRONE TO MEET AND SPEAK TO HER. WELL PUT TOGETHER FOR THE 20TH CENTURY. WE DON'T SEE MUCH OF THESE BIBLICAL MOVIES NOWADAYS. THEY SHOULD MAKE MORE LIKE THESE AND THE ONES OF TIME PAST, LIKE A.D. TEN COMMANDMENTS, BEN-HER AND JESUS OF NAZARETH. THESE MOVIES MAKE YOU THINK THAT THE ACTORS AND THE SETTINGS PORTRAYED IN THE MOVIE WAS HOW IT REALLY HAPPENED. THESE PRODUCERS SPEND MILLIONS TO MAKE THESE "SO CALLED GREAT MOVIES" WITH NO SENSE AND MORALS. I REALLY WISH THEY WOULD PUT THEIR MILLIONS INTO MAKING THESE BIBLICAL MOVIES. PLEASE KEEP MAKING MORE. I THINK DANIEL AND THE THREE HEBREW BOYS WOULD MAKE AN EXCELLENT MOVIE."
I cried, I laughed, I cheered, & exalted!
Sincerae B. Smith | Georgia, United States | 01/16/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"As a born again Christian, lover of history, beauty, & courage, Esther was such an inspiration to me. A few liberties were taken (ie. God is never mentioned in the Book of Esther, while He is in the movie.) But these liberties actually succeeded in bringing out the meaning of the Biblical story. Some of the acting done by the actors playing the eunuchs was a little stilted, but it also didn't damage the progression of the story. This movie is an excellent teaching tool to get people interested in the Bible. It tells a story of a young woman who is an example for women of all ages. Esther is courageous, honest, graceful, empathetic, & a woman of integrity & dignity. Through her bravery, faith, & wisdom she brought the enemy of her people down & gained the respect & love of her young, impetuous, & immature husband who was a reluctant king. Because of her qualities Esther didn't have to use ruthlessness & vulgarity, or dishonesty to bring down her & her people's enemies. Because of her dignity she won the place as partner with her husband in ruling Persia, & certainly her husband needed someone who could help him in his responsibilities & help him to grow up & rule responsibly. So many girls & women in our society could use Esther as their role model. She was Every Woman & a Lady! She was truly a "Liberated woman.""
A Good Adaptation
Jeffrey Leeper | Seattle, WA USA | 05/01/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This film is part of the Trimark Home Video Bible series. It is refreshing to know that new movies about the Bible are still being made.This movie is from the book of Esther. If you are watching the whole video series, you should watch "Jeremiah" before this one. It will explain the first part of the movie. The actor playing the king in "Jeremiah" is also the king played in this movie. This was not intentional.To keep the movie to an hour and a half, there have been some things added. I do feel that these neither change anything in the Bible nor do they distract the viewer. I find this to be a good tool in learning the book of Esther.The end of the movie speaks of Ezra and what he did for the people. It sounds like a lead-in to another movie, but alas, there is no movie on the book of Ezra.I would recommend this movie."
Biblically accurate and tastefully done
goldencat5 | Cleveland, Ohio United States | 03/06/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I thought this was a very watchable version of Esther's story. There is no nudity, foul language, or graphic violence. I'm sure this will disappoint some viewers, since there is potential to show those elements of the story in detail - and this is so common in Hollywood. However, it did not happen here!I'd suggest preteens not watch it, because what is not shown has the effect of making the movie more intense, like Hitchcock's movies. And - Depending how protective you are, you might not want to explain:1 - What the harem was learning to do to please the king (!)
2 - why the eunichs were acting silly (effeminately) and said they were not men
3 - What went on when Esther went to the king the first night, and the camera cuts away to a dew-covered red rose falling to the floor. (a great visual symbol of virginity lost)There are some intense emotional scenes that could scare young children, from Esther being taken from her home by force, to Mordecai lamenting that the Jews will all be killed. The settings and clothes were all well chosen and appropriate. Nothing low budget about it, in my opinion. It is empowering for women to see how one woman can make a difference, even in a bad situation, and how faith makes a difference: God hears."