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"ONE NIGHT WITH THE KING"
(2006) (Tiffany Dupont, Luke Goss) (PG)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Mild Minor Extreme *Moderate Heavy
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Minor None Heavy None None
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Moderate None Heavy Moderate Heavy


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: After being chosen to be the next queen of Persia, a Jewish orphan does what she can to save her people from persecution at the hands of those wishing to overthrow the king.
PLOT:
It's ancient Persia and King Xerxes (LUKE GOSS) is looking for a new queen since the last woman to inhabit that position humiliated him in public over her disdain for his desire to get revenge on the Greeks for previously killing his father. Accordingly, his men are sent through the kingdom to find suitable young women, a point that doesn't escape Jewish palace scribe Mordecai (JOHN RHYS-DAVIES).

He knows that his younger, orphaned relative Hadassah (TIFFANY DUPONT) is quite attractive, and thus he says that should she be chosen, she should forget being Jewish and instead go by the name of Esther. Nevertheless, she doesn't think that will happen as she plans to travel to Jerusalem with her wannabe boyfriend Jesse (JONAH LOTAN).

Yet, it does and she suddenly finds herself abducted along with other young women now under the care of head eunuch Hagai (TOMMY "TINY" LISTER, JR.) who takes a liking to Esther and gives her inside help to be chosen as the next queen. While also planning for the war with Prince Memucan (OMAR SHARIF) and Prince Admantha (JOHN NOBLE), Xerxes finds time to meet, fall for, and finally marry Hadassah, unaware of her heritage.

However, other far more nefarious secrets are underfoot. Seeking to avenge a centuries-old injustice toward his ancestral people, Haman (JAMES CALLIS) arrives at the palace and quickly works his way into the king's inner circle, a point that helps Admantha and his own nefarious plans to undermine his king. From that point on, and as misunderstandings progressively strain her marriage and relationship to Xerxes, Hadassah must take various risks to protect her people when she learns of their pending demise.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're into historical dramas or are drawn by the religious connection, they might.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG
For violence, some sensuality and thematic elements.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • TIFFANY DUPONT plays the Jewish orphan who finds herself chosen to be Queen of Persia. Although her marriage to Xerxes is initially happy, she must contend with it progressively falling apart, as well as news about assassination plans targeting her husband as well as Haman wishing to kill all of the Jews.
  • LUKE GOSS plays the king who wants both love and war, but has difficulty with both. Headstrong but compassionate, he wants to avenge his father's death and is frustrated when his marriage to Esther starts to fail.
  • JOHN RHYS-DAVIES plays Hadassah's older relative who's raised her and now works as the palace scribe. He ends up saving the king's life by foiling an assassination plot, and later won't bow down before Haman.
  • JOHN NOBLE plays one of Xerxes' princes who acts loyal but is really plotting to overthrow his king.
  • TOMMY "TINY" LISTER, JR. plays the head eunuch who takes a liking to Hadassah and thus helps her win the king's heart.
  • JAMES CALLIS plays a warrior who seeks to avenge a centuries-old action against his forbearers. He manages to infiltrate Xerxes' inner circle and eventually sets his plan into motion to have all of the Jews killed and their possessions taken to fund the war.
  • OMAR SHARIF plays Xerxes' truly loyal prince and close advisor.
  • JONAH LOTAN plays Hadassah's wannabe boyfriend until he's brought into the palace and turned into a eunuch (meaning he's been castrated).
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this PG-rated drama. Some non-explicit, sexually related comments are made, wedding night sex is implied (we see the beginning of kissing before the scene ends), a woman mistakes sounds coming from her husband's quarters as sexual in nature, and a man is seen shirtless several times.

    Violence consists of murders and other deaths (some off-screen, others without graphic realism), other non-lethal contact, and the aftermath of an unseen battle shows many dead bodies on the ground. Some of that material and other moments may be unsettling or suspenseful to younger viewers, while various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes (including one playing the race card and wishing to perform genocide).

    A king and queen's marriage progressively deteriorates like the one before it, and various characters drink in several scenes.

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those concerned with bright flashes of light on the screen, there is some of that in a flashback scene and then some of lighting in a later one.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • About a festival opened by the king to all, Mordecai tells Hadassah that a drunken brawl is no place for a young woman like her.
  • We see miscellaneous people drinking at a festival where a toast is raised and Xerxes jokes about sending troops to conquer more vineyards. In a different area of the palace, the queen comments about the drunken war council. She later drinks something from a goblet, but we don't know what it is.
  • Haman and others drink.
  • Xerxes, Haman and others drink with a meal.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We see the aftermath of a deadly raid 500 years before this story, where many people were murdered (we see many bodies on the ground, but no blood).
  • We see a severed pig's head on a food table.
  • A candidate for queen looks ill (upon meeting Xerxes), holds her hand over her mouth and rushes off (we hear but don't see her vomit off-camera).
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Xerxes' queen refuses his command to join him at his festival (she's protesting the war he's about to launch), so he has her permanently removed from her position (we don't know her fate).
  • Various men, including Jesse, are rounded up at spear point to become the palace's new eunuchs.
  • Palace guards grab Hadassah and remove her from her home to be taken to the palace (we then see the same has occurred to other young women).
  • Both Haman and Admantha conspire to overthrow Xerxes, and their first attempt is by getting the king's official food tasters to buy poison with which to spike his food.
  • Haman stabs a knife into one of his subordinate conspirators, but we don't see the impact or the implied killing of a second man. He then lies to others about them, their involvement with him, and the same with Prince Admantha.
  • Haman verbally bashes foreigners at a rally, prompting some to single out Jews. Haman then says that alone some of them (the Jews) are fine, but as a group they're not to be trusted. He also ties the Jews to the Greeks (as the Persians are about to go to war with the latter).
  • Haman tries to single out Mordecai as a traitor.
  • To generate the needed finances for their war effort, Haman proposes and then tries to order that they take all of the Jews' property, but also kill all of them (including women and children) to prevent an uprising over such matters. He also says that they (the Jews) talk of the king of kings (Jesus) pending arrival that will further push democracy (which Haman is against).
  • Haman's presumed wife suggests that they hang Mordecai for being a traitor (and we see a noose in the gallows, but it's never used).
  • Haman tries to poison Xerxes' mind about Hadassah and her intentions.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • The following might be unsettling or suspenseful to younger viewers, but probably not that much (or at all) to older viewers.
  • Haman and Prince Admantha discuss ambushing Prince Memucan, and then we see that play out. Prince Memucan finds himself surrounded by sword-carrying men, but arrows suddenly strike those would-be assassins, killing them (no blood or actual impact, but we hear the sounds and see them fall to the ground).
  • A guard nearly strikes Mordecai with his sword for not kneeling in front of Haman. After a brief exchange, Haman then strikes Mordecai with his staff, knocking him to the ground.
  • Hadassah senses and then sees glimpses of a shadowy figure in her bedroom. She gets up and slowly moves around, only to have the person put his hand over her mouth, but it turns out to be Jesse (with no ill-intent toward her).
  • Despite knowing it might endanger her life (for breaking protocol as well as due to their strained relationship), Hadassah goes to see Xerxes in his court (thus causing others to be upset). One man then comes down and starts to swing his sword at her, but Xerxes catches his hand just in time.
  • Haman menacingly comes up behind Hadassah while she's seated (she knows he's there, but is nevertheless scared). He then grabs her by the throat and appears ready to do her harm when Xerxes suddenly grabs him by the throat and hair, with guards then physically escorting Haman away.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • It's implied that a prophet kills a king with a sword (but we don't see the act).
  • We see Xerxes doing a playful swordfight with Prince Memucan and others (no one is injured).
  • Haman stabs a knife into one of his subordinate conspirators, but we don't see the impact or the implied killing of a second man.
  • Prince Memucan finds himself surrounded by sword-carrying men, but arrows suddenly strike those would-be assassins, killing them (no blood or actual impact, but we hear the sounds and see them fall to the ground).
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "You fool" and "Donkey-brained."
  • We see that Xerxes has some sort of tattoos on his body.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A heavy amount of ominous and suspenseful music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • None.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We briefly see a queen's cleavage.
  • We see Xerxes shirtless.
  • Hadassah and Jesse nearly kiss at a festival, but don't complete the act.
  • Hagai comments on when a war took his eye and his "manhood" (meaning he was castrated).
  • We see Xerxes shirtless while doing a playful swordfight with Prince Memucan and others (no one is injured).
  • About now being a eunuch, Jesse tells Hadassah that they cut (castrated) him and that they (he and Hadassah) can't be what they had hoped (presumably meaning husband and wife).
  • We hear that each candidate for queen is given one night with the king (for him to use to choose the "winner"), but while that sounds sexual, we don't hear or see anything related.
  • On their wedding night, Xerxes and Hadassah exchange small kisses while clothed and standing, and then seated on a bed (still clothed, with the scene ending there, but sex is implied).
  • Hadassah hears what sound like pleasured female sounds coming from the Xerxes' quarters and then leaves, which is when we then see that it's just two clothed female servants making his bed and having a good (but nonsexual) time doing so.
  • Thinking that Hadassah has cheated on Xerxes, Prince Memucan asks the king that perhaps his majesty would like for him to send for one of the concubines, but Xerxes replies, "Perhaps not."
  • We see Xerxes shirtless while sleeping.
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Xerxes' queen refuses his command to join him at his festival (she's protesting the war he's about to launch), so he has her permanently removed from her position (we don't know her fate).
  • Hadassah has a flashback to intruders arriving in her village when she was a child (presumably when her parents were killed, but we don't see any violence).
  • Hadassah is notified of the assassination plan targeting her husband the king.
  • Xerxes is suspicious of Hadassah after seeing her come out from a romantic area, thinking she was with another man (she was, but it was Mordecai, her family relative).
  • Hadassah and Xerxes' relationship becomes progressively strained for a number of reasons, until it's all but over (although they end up together at the end).
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The question of from whence comes the purpose of a person's life, and whether that's due to chance or destiny.
  • The Biblical story from which the movie is based.
  • Mordecai telling Hadassah that if she's taken, she should forget she's a Jew and instead go by the name of Esther.
  • Xerxes' comment that the symptoms of poison and love are the same.
  • Purim.
  • Eunuchs.
  • VIOLENCE
  • We see the aftermath of a deadly raid 500 years before this story, where many people were murdered (we see many bodies on the ground, but no blood). One person is dragged along the ground by a horse, while others are shoved down to the ground to kneel. It's then implied that a prophet kills a king with a sword (but we don't see the act).
  • Various men, including Jesse, are rounded up at spear point to become the palace's new eunuchs.
  • Palace guards grab Hadassah and remove her from her home to be taken to the palace (we then see the same has occurred to other young women).
  • A candidate for queen falls from a horse after being placed on it sidesaddle (played for laughs on the part of the film).
  • Haman stabs a knife into one of his subordinate conspirators, but we don't see the impact or the implied killing of a second man.
  • Haman and Prince Admantha discuss ambushing Prince Memucan, and then we see that play out. Prince Memucan finds himself surrounded by sword-carrying men, but arrows suddenly strike those would-be assassins, killing them (no blood or actual impact, but we hear the sounds and see them fall to the ground).
  • Prince Admantha hits Haman on the chest, with the latter pushing the former back.
  • A guard nearly strikes Mordecai with his sword for not kneeling in front of Haman. After a brief exchange, Haman then strikes Mordecai with his staff, knocking him to the ground.
  • Haman menacingly comes up behind Hadassah while she's seated (she knows he's there, but is nevertheless scared). He then grabs her by the throat and appears ready to do her harm when Xerxes suddenly grabs him by the throat and hair, with guards then physically escorting Haman away.



  • Reviewed October 10, 2006 / Posted October 13, 2006

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