This weekend, our Saturday afternoon choice for a movie was Ben-Hur 2016. It was a very colorful movie with lots of action, violence, and history. We liked it. The hot, buttered popcorn was excellent too!
Ben-Hur 2016 is a faith-based drama action movie. Ben-Hur is based on the novel, Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ, written by Lew Wallace and published in 1880. Lew Wallace was a Union general in the Civil War. According to Wikipedia.com, the book was the most influential Christian book of the nineteenth century. The story meshes the unfolding story of Jesus Christ with the misfortunate adventures of Judah Ben-Hur, a fictional Jewish prince living in Jerusalem at the same time
Judah’s adopted brother, Messala has become an angry Roman army officer who is always challenged to has to prove his worth and ability. Massala is also angry with the family for denying his right to marry his adopted sister. He falsely accuses Judah of sedition and Judah is sentenced to a life of slavery in the galleys. His sister and mother are condemned to a leper colony. Only his wife, Esther, escapes. After years at sea, a shipwreck frees Judah and he returns to Jerusalem and enters a chariot race against his brother for revenge.
Concurrently, Jesus’ life is displayed from the time he was a handsome, young carpenter being persecuted by the Romans as he spreads the word of the Lord. Then we see him crucified. It’s quite sad. He also performs some miracles that help tie up some loose ends in the movie. I would say that the religious aspects of the movie were a little subdued and not meant to be the main focus of the movie. Present, but not provocative.
I loved the scenery, the clothing, the horses, and the characters.The scenery was pure and beautiful. The clothing was colorful and richly detailed. The horses were gorgeous. Jack Huston played the part of Ben-Hur very well and he is extremely handsome as well. All of the women are very pretty and i loved their elaborate hairstyles and wardrobes. Judah’s wife, played by Nazanin Boniadi looks beautiful and serene, almost saintly. Morgan Freeman plays an odd looking but wise African nomad who races horses. He also did some of the narration. I just love his voice. My husband liked the bloody, violent sword fights and the chariot race.
This is the fifth Ben-Hur movie adapted from the book. Each is a little different. The first was filmed in 1907 and was a 15 minute silent film. Number two was a 1925 silent film. The third was the 1959 award winning film starring Charlton Heston. The fourth was an animation film made by and starring Charlton Heston as Judah.
Ben-Hur 2016 got some really bad reviews. It would be really hard to top the well-loved 1959 movie featuring Charlton Heston. The 1959 version is much longer and much more detailed with more intensity and passion. Ben-Hur was shown every year at Easter on one of our main channels when I was a child. I have watched it many times. It is a really good movie. I would guess you could still find it playing somewhere at Easter.
Ben-Hur 2016 is just another version of the 1959 award winning Charlton Heston movie. It is a shorter, simpler version that follows the same storyline with gorgeous scenery and characters and an exciting, dangerous chariot race. It is definitely worth watching!