A visually beautiful film, ONE NIGHT WITH THE KING depicts the biblical tale of a Jewish peasant, Hadassah (Tiffany Dupont), and her journey to become the legendary Queen Esther. Her parents were murdered when she was a young girl and she was taken in by her uncle, Mordecai (John Rhys-Davies); he raised her in Susa, a city of the ancient empire of Persia. Hadassah--beautiful, intelligent and passionate--was summoned among many of the kingdom's virtuous young women to be groomed as a possible new queen for the powerful and handsome King Xerxes (Luke Goss). Hadassah hides her Jewish heritage under advisement from her uncle, and changes her name to Esther. She impresses the King. He falls in love with her and chooses her to be his bride, and she becomes Queen of Persia. Soon after, Hamen the Agagite (James Callis), the King's Prime Minster, proclaims his goal of wiping out all the Jews of Persia, and he convinces the King to approve the plan. It is up to Queen Esther to announce her Jewish heritage and come to the rescue of her people.
Peppered with many religious references, ONE NIGHT WITH THE KING conveys the message of divine destiny as it tells the story of a queen who continues to be an inspiring figure. Although the result of Queen Esther's intervention is well known, the filmmakers and actors do a superb job of building up the suspense and the desperation felt by all involved. The film includes a brief cameo by Peter O'Toole as the biblical figure Samuel, and Omar Sharif appears as Prince Memucan.
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