Mortal hero Bek teams with the god Horus in an alliance against Set, the merciless god of darkness, who has usurped Egypt's throne, plunging the once peaceful and prosperous empire into chaos and conflict.
A Jewish nobleman, Judah Ben-Hur, and his adopted Roman brother Messala are best friends despite their different origins. Messala enlists in the Roman army and fights in the Roman Empire's wars in Germany. Ben-Hur also develops feelings for the family slave Esther although their different station in life compels him not to pursue her. But when her father Simonides seeks to marry her off to a Roman, Ben-Hur declares his love for her and takes her as his wife. Three years later, Messala returns as a decorated Roman officer. His return coincides with a rising insurrection by the Zealots, Jews who are opposed to the oppressive nature of Roman rule..
Timur Bekmambetov explained the film's adaptation in a interview with "Collider": "When we say 'original "Ben-Hur",' we have to be very concrete about which original version we are talking about. There were two big-screen versions made, in 1925 [Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (1925)] and 1959 [Ben-Hur (1959)]. These are the two most famous ones. There was also a Broadway stage version at the beginning of the 20th century. There have been a lot of television versions. The Ben-Hur story reminds me of 'Romeo and Juliet', 'Hamlet' and any story written by [Anton Chekhov]. It is timeless, so every new generation wants to go back to it in order to adapt it for the new world. The screen version made in 1959 runs for four hours, and there [are] only a small number of people who can actually stay through the whole movie. It is about people different from us. And it's normal, because people used to be different. The audience was different, too, as well as the cinema language the film was made in. The 1959 movie was about revenge, not about forgiveness. For me that was the main problem, as I think that the novel is mainly about forgiveness, about the fact that a human being learned how to forgive. I got so excited about the project when I read John Ridley's script. I understood that John's vision of the story has so much light to it, and that he shares the same thoughts about certain morals as I do. We talked with him about our modern world, which actually reminds me very much of a huge Roman Empire. In the Roman Empire the most important values were pride, rivalry, power, strength, the dictatorship of power and self-love. This kind of world does not have any prospects today. Humanity has to learn how to love and forgive. This would be our only solution." See more »
The opening sets the date as "33 A.D.", but the grammatically correct way to date years after the birth of Jesus is A.D. 33 ("Anno Domini 33"). Only B.C., or the more contemporary BCE, are listed after the year. See more »
Hate, anger, fear. Those are lies they use to turn you against each other. When you set aside the hate they force you to carry, that's when you know love is our true nature.
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The end credits for the director, producer and department heads are animated to look like they fly across the race track, kicking up dust as if they were horse-drawn chariots. See more »
I wasn't really going to write a review but when I saw all the hate this movie was getting -I couldn't help myself and thought that this movie deserved some justice... I can understand that fans of the original movie aren't pleased- I guess they feel like seeing a book they really like getting butchered on screen- but in this case I don't think that happened. I came with low expectations and actually quite enjoyed it! The visuals were amazing-I'm an archaeology buff- roman to be specific and I think that for the first time in a long time I really felt immersed and got excited from seeing stuff I usually see in a museum come to life- The hippodrome was amazing!! And so were the costumes and the sets. In short the art director is a genius. And I finally feel that they got the look of Jerusalem almost right- at least the best version of Jerusalem on screen I've ever seen. (Kingdom of heaven's Jerusalem was awful). As for the characters they were likable- and I did find myself caring for them and being moved at the end. (All though I'm not sure I liked Jesus in it.. His portrayal made things slightly cheesy.. But not too bad.
In short... I think it's pretty good and stands on it's own and should be given a chance-especially since some part of me felt the honest need to defend it- and that doesn't happen a lot..And I do actually want to see this movie again :) Sorry that I didn't put further details- but you know- spoilers... Plus I'm sure that all the other reviewers already have..
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