CAST & CREW
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The movie Ben-Hur is based on the novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ which was written by Lew Wallace. It has been tagged as “re-adaptation”, “reimagining” and “new interpretation” of the novel. The film was released on 9th August 2016 in Mexico City and 19th August 2016 in the United States.
Plot: Jack Huston is playing the role of Judah Ben-Hur. He is a Jewish Prince. He has a half-brother Messala played by Toby Kebbell. Judah loves one of his slaves named Esther played by Nazanin Boniadi, whereas Messala is in love with Judah’s sister. Messala decided to join as an officer in Roman army because he realized that he would never get the equal respect in Jerusalem as Judah’s family. Judah was unfaithfully incriminated by Messala who treated him like a slave. He was detached from his own family and the woman he loves. However, he was saved by a Sheikh ( Morgan Freeman) and returned home after spending many years away from his family to take revenge. But Sheikh advised him to take revenge by organizing a chariot race and not by violence. And then the entire story begins.
Analysis: The director Timur Bekmambetov has combined his style of actions with the novel, written by Lew Wallace. There is a boring set up of shots and standard angles. The visualization of the final chariot race also appeared low. The 3D effects were not impressive due to which several problems occurred. Jack Huston played the role of Ben-Hur more deeply and nicely than Charlton Heston’s version from 1959 movie. But this film cannot replace the 1959 movie in any manner.
The duration of that movie was of four hours which was unique in itself. The total duration of the chariot race was of 10 minutes and was actually planned to shoot in the Circus Maximus arena in Rome. It was then denied by the authorities, but later on, it was approved by Rome’s Mayor. Judah’s sea battle was a superb scene which made the audience to regain their breaths when it got over. And, the lead actors did fantastic roles and succeeded in impressing audience.
Star Performances: Jack Huston was good in his role. He did a decent job by telling us the character of Ben-Hur. On the other side, Toby Kebbell who played the role of his brother was excellent. He was already talented, and he proved this time also. No one could have matched his performance but only him. Other actors like Nazanin Boniadi who played the role of Esther and Zurer who played the role of mother Naomi were also apt in their roles. They supported very well. Morgan Freeman appeared low sometimes but played fine. Rodrigo Santoro is playing the role of some carpenter of Jerusalem who had all crazy love ideas.
What is there? There are little moments which worked out and made the whole journey good. The action sequences gave the real life to the movie. Also, the chariot race took the film to a great height. The story is strong and also convincing. Some parts are really surprising. The sea battle is unique and really cool. The characters are also good.
What is not there? The story failed somewhere and appeared pointless. Timur has given many good movies to the industry, but this one was a complete mess. This has surely affected his strong Hollywood films which made his career graph high. He did not use any voguish action and amazing visuals in which he is perfect. The performances were lumpy, and the camera work was not clean, which spoiled his talent.
Verdict: This movie is a suitable example of the classic tale of revenge and forgiveness. There are amusing moments of chariot race and the sea battle. Therefore, justice is being done with this epic tale, and can be watched.
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