Arts and Entertainment your connection to The Boston Globe

'One Night' is epic lite

``One Night With the King" has lavish costumes, giggling harems, a vast ancient city, huge armies, black riders , and blood feuds. It's a talky imitation DeMille -- no sex, little action, but plenty of intrigues, treachery , and comeuppance.

The movie was adapted from the Tommy Tenney-Mark Andrew Olsen novel based on the Bible's Book of Esther. It's a Jews-in-exile tale of a girl (Tiffany Dupont) who hides her Hebrew identity when she is taken into the harem of the Persian king, Xerxes (Luke Goss). Once there, she enchants him with stories of her race and falls for him. And then duty calls.

There's a backstory -- an ancient blood feud between the Jews and the Agagites, whom the Jews almost wiped out. Peter O'Toole is the prophet Samuel, who orders that genocide in an opening flashback. A descendant of the ``child-sacrificing" Agagites, Haman (James Callis) is captain of the palace guards, and bent on avenging his people . He's scheming with a malevolent prince (John Noble ) against a peace-preaching prince (Omar Sharif).

The producers have burdened the story with chat, sanitized the harem and stripped almost all the sexuality from the tale. Dupont has a winsome screen presence, but she and Goss don't really click.

Today (free)
Yesterday (free)
Past 30 days
Last 12 months
 Advanced search / Historic Archives