First, I have to say that I am a conservative Christian and that I enjoy watching what Pureflix usually has to offer. But this one was totally disappointing. Of course, they warn us at the beginning that they have removed some of the biblical elements, and added other fictitious events to this movie. Then, they encourage us to read the actual book of Esther in the Bible. I will say that this encouragement is the best part of the whole movie.
The actual story of Esther is full of action, adventure, intrigue, romance, irony, humor, and edge-of-your-seat suspense. I am amazed at the ability of these writers to rob this story of all that.
I have no idea why they felt the need to add scriptures, prayers, and the mention of the name of God to this movie. Esther is unique in the whole Bible as the only book that does not specifically mention God. Rather, He is seen behind the scenes, as in real life, as the Master Weaver of history. Having Him actually speak Esther's Jewish name to her is totally out of character.
I do not understand why the writers felt it necessary to take what was probably fifteen years or more of history, and make it appear to have happened within a few months' time.
Jen Lilly is no doubt a beautiful young lady, as I am sure Esther was, but instead of appearing to compete for the title of queen of Persia, I thought she looked more like a candidate for Miss Alabama.
Mordecai was a much better actor when he played the aged Daniel in the movie of the same name. Here, he seems to have stumbled over several lines, and everyone seems to have forgotten the lines he uttered at the first of the movie about Esther keeping her identity secret, as well as her relationship to him.
The very idea of Mordecai presenting Esther in a contest for "Miss Persia" is preposterous, and the movie's presumption that there were no available fair virgins in surrounding lands that could wed a king is ridiculous. Harems were full of them, and there were always many more ladies-in-waiting. It was the way diplomacy was done in those days.
Thao Penglis, whom I remember most from the second TV try of "Mission Impossible" thinks this is a Shakespearian production, and in some of his scenes with his wife, I think they do a pretty good impersonation of Lord and Lady MacBeth. Unfortunately, this is not medieval Scotland.
In fact, as I think about it, this entire movie seems to go in search of an identity, sometimes thinking it is "Cinderella," and other times, "MacBeth." It fails in both. They had a great story, and the movie could have been great; it wasn't. It was disappointing.
I suppose the writers thought to make the story more interesting with their omissions and embellishments, but what they have done is the crime of taking one of the most inspiring stories of the Bible and actually making it boring, predictable, and preposterous.