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Ben-Hur is falsely accused of treason and had to endure the consequences. He returns to get revenge but finds so much more! Join Cory and John as they race their chariots into the arena of this Biblical Dramas triple!
Even in this age of remakes, it wild to think that they would tackle remaking the 1959 Charlton Heston classic. But they did but this version of Ben-Hur tries to be different. Judah Ben-Hur (Jack Hutson) is from a well to do family in Jerusalem. His adopted brother Messala Severus (Toby Kebbell) competes with and has a great relationship with Judah. But he is in love with Judah’s sister Tirzah (Sofia Black-D’Elia) and though he feels love from Judah, Naomi and their mother Naomi (Ayelet Zurer) he wants more. He wants to see the world and clear his family name. He heads off to join the Roman Legion.
Messala rises in the ranks thanks to his skills, leadership and loyal service of Pontius Pilate (Pilou Asbæk). After years of fighting, he returns to Jerusalem to pave the way for Pilate. But unrest against the Roman occupation has grown and even touched Judah’s house. His sister has aided the Zealots. Judah wants peace and for everyone to get along. He has found love with Esther (Nazanin Boiadi) and married her. The reunion of brothers is quickly broken when a Zealot in the house attempts to kill Pilate. The house is locked down and Judah must confess to save his family. But Naomi & Tirzah are taken to be in-prisoned and Judah snaps. He attacks Messala and holds a knife to Messala’s officer Druses’ (Marwan Kenzari) neck. Judah is sentenced to row in the galley ships.
Years pass and Judah gains strength and has great anger but he does not lash out because he knows he will be killed. The Roman ships go into battle and Judah’s is broken in two. He escapes his chains and washes up in Africa. Ilderim (Morgan Freeman) spots him and gives him water. Ilderim is wealthy and has beautiful horses to race in the circus. Judah earns a place in the camp by nursing a horse back to health. He then become the driver. They head to Jerusalem to race in the new circus there.
Judah finds Esther and learns of the Roman oppression. He hears that his mother and sister are dead, but Druses finds him and lets him know they are alive. Judah seeks them out but they have leprosy. Angry and bitter at the Romans and at Messala, he convinces Ilderim to back him in the circus. Esther begs him no to race and even begs Messala not to battle with Judah. But they both refuse. She is following Jesus and her life has been changed. Judah & Messala race and Judah comes out on top with Messala wounded.
Judah has encountered Jesus several times but seeing his death has shaken him. He forgives his brother and Messala is broken. Jesus’ death has healed Naomi and Tirzah and Ilderim has bought their freedom. The Ben-Hur family is reunited and off to see the world.
While this is not the Heston tale, they did an excellent job of retelling the story. The acting was very well done with a cast not widely know to U.S. audiences. The production value was great and the story well presented. It will never top the Heston version but it is one well worth watching and rewatching.
Add It To Your Library:
Buy the movie on Amazon.
The score was done by Marco Beltrami this track is called Galley Slaves.
We continue in the Biblical Tales Triple with “The Ten Commandments.” So journey with us to Egypt where Heston’s Moses tells Pharaoh to “Let my people go!”
Name That Movie:
The clue this week was: Starting from Ben-Hur and Morgan Freeman. Morgan Freeman was in this trilogy of films from 2005, 2008 and 2012.
Which lead us to the following movie: It is the Nolan Dark Knight Trilogy “Batman Begins, The Dark Knight & The Dark Knight Rises.”
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