|Index||7 reviews in total|
Attractive actors, realistic speech, The Words of David (on occasion) and
good production values make this is an exceptional entertainment.
If you know very little about David, this film helps bring his life into
more into focus.
A flawed man who still found favor with God. I recommend this film for anyone interested in furthering their understanding of early Old Testament men/women.
I had forgotten David had so many "wives". I also found David's dancing in the front of the covenant very realistic. It was a dance of real joy in the film and not one of "madness" as some have suggested. I thought to myself watching this film....yes that makes more sense now.
The actor who played Absalom is quite good and his part of this David portrayal is riveting.
As a result of watching this film, I will seek out more of TNT's film series. Well Done!
As I watch biblical movies, I usually face a specific fear. Since the
stories entailed in the Bible make perfect sense the way they are,
personal visions or interpretations which carry significant changes may
result in nothing but travesty and destruction. Still there are a lot
of such productions which, though characterized by good direction and
fine performances, tend to simplify, distort, ignore the gist. As a
result, they appear to depict the events inaccurately. However, this
phenomenon, fortunately, does not refer to "David" by Robert Markowitz,
another movie from the new "Bible" series which has made an impression
RELIGIOUS CONTENT: This movie not only depicts the life of the man who became the king of Israel almost 3,000 years ago, but also the times, events and all background history of his people, the chosen people of Israel. At the beginning of the movie, we have a memorable depiction of Saul (Jonathan Pryce) the first king of Israel who has wonderful possibilities but cannot use them properly. He finally commits suicide while lamenting his dead sons on the battlefield. To the contrast comes David, a shepherd boy who is anointed by the prophet Samuel (Leonard Nimoy) to be a future king and whose courage and confidence in God lead him to the unbelievable throne and glorious reign. He is a courageous soldier, the victorious leader and the noble king who builds a prosperous kingdom with the magnificent city of Jerusalem. At the same time, he is a poet who praises the Lord with his famous psalms that have survived as a model of sacred poetry in church till our times. Yes, he praises the Lord. He does that despite all the difficulties he is bound to cope with, all the sufferings arising within his own kingdom, within his own family, within his very self... He sings God's praises and never gives up being God's Man.
BIBLICAL PSYCHOLOGY: But, it is all distant past and today's viewers may sometimes ask a fundamental question: What is the gist of analyzing those events so deeply, events that passed long ago? Moreover, due to the deceptive nature of our modern times, we are easily led to doubt or disillusion. Then, we draw realistic conclusions. It seems that all we see in such movies (biblical movies) are just stories from the Bible in which you can believe or just treat as another sword and sandal epic. However, that view appears to be very dangerous and leads to serious simplifications. You start to consider these movies in a shallow way as pure entertainment which does not carry any thought provoking messages. Yet, "David," as a biblical film, is meant for something more...
It occurs crucial to state that biblical films should neither be entertaining epics only nor psychological movies. They, similarly to the Bible, should resemble the psychology of man in relation with God. In this respect, Markowitz's film is a wonderful insight into David's psyche within his profound relation with God. "Create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me" ... the words Davis says in the famous prayer give us a picture of a powerful king who is also aware of his weaknesses, who, unlike all other kings of his time, does not treat himself as "divinity" but accepts a power beyond himself, the almighty power of God. I particularly liked the way the director showed the penance of David. This is a beautiful and a very accurate analysis of sin: first admitting the guilt but second repenting and turning anew towards God. Unlike king Saul who turns into despair which leads him to death, David has the courage to admit the guilt and turn into spiritual renewal which leads him to more stable life. He is a person who copes with all sorts of feelings from fear, disappointment to forgiveness and peace of mind. Only considering this psychology of God within man, we understand this movie and many other biblical films properly. Moreover, we can identify with the characters though they lived so long ago. But let me now skip the psychological aspect of the film and concentrate solely on the movie.
THE MOVIE: As king David was a poet, the film does a lot as far as the artistic side is concerned. First, it has wonderful score that supplies us with a specific melody. The tunes combine weakness with power and gentleness with triumph. Any time I hear it, it leads me to a very specific world of imagination. Second, some scenes are beautifully shot, particularly symbolic depiction of David-Goliath fight, Saul's dance of joy resulting from the Holy Spirit, David's anointment, and David's dance at the Arc. Third, the performances are truly good. Nathaniel Parker very well fits to the role of older David portraying a calm and powerful character alike. Jonathan Pryce is memorable as Saul filled with hesitation and loneliness. Sheryl Lee is really beautiful and subtle as Bathsheba and Franco Nero is marvelously cold as prophet Nathan. Finally, some parts in the script occurred to me as very meaningful and the situations as truly vivid.
"David," in sum, is a valuable biblical production. It is a captivating story of a soldier, a poet, a king but foremost of the God's man, something we are in need nowadays. It invites us to go deeper into what greatness really means. Is it a prosperous life, power, respect, or perhaps wealth that make us great? No, it is rather a humble quest for the right spirit, for the clean heart, for renewing oneself like David did. Only then we can lift up a pure child like lifting up a childlike heart in the joy of reconciliation.
The stories of David, Samuel, and Saul are recorded in great detail in
the books of Samuel, as well as additional information in the books of
Chronicles. Considering the wealth of information and detail we have
from the Biblical sources, there's not much need to go outside of the
text to create a great movie. The most obvious climax of David's life
comes early on in his life (his confrontation with Goliath), and the
Biblical text in 1st Samuel reads just like an action movie. Had the
filmmakers just stuck with the text, they would have hit a homerun.
Instead, they bunted into foul territory... or struck out while messing
themselves. Just a complete waste of what should have been a great
scene. Very inaccurate to the Biblical story and very disappointing. I
stopped watching after David took the throne as I couldn't deal with it
This is coming from the perspective of a Christian that believes the Bible is the the inspired and infallible Word of God. If you do not hold to these beliefs, this may be a good movie for you (I can't say as I didn't finish it and my perspective is completely skewed). If you do, you will likely be disappointed like I was.
I find movies based on Scripture to be very touchy in general, and extremely difficult to translate to the screen without something coming across as inaccurate (or what we perceive as inaccurate). Even movies that supposedly stick word for word to the text still take artistic license (as you have to since you're translating the written word to a visual medium).
This one was overall NOT a good translation from the first half that I saw. I'm not going to point out the accurate parts as they were negated by the inaccuracies. Even from the beginning of the movie Saul was not taller than the other Israelites, which is clearly described in Scripture. I'll quit there, as there are a lot of other things I could point out.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I really enjoyed this film as it was an easy way to learn about David's
story again (haven't read the bible since I was a kid).
What I don't understand however, in the film his daughter thanks Absalom for killing their brother and restoring her honor... and we never see her again.
Did she side with David or with Absalom when David fled Jerusalem? The film didn't portray this...
Overall the complexity of David's character was captured well, and several biblical lines were delivered in ways that really made them meaningful.
One of my pet peeves about Biblical movies is the way it usually gets hammed up by poor actors; everyone snooting around with Oxford Thespian Society accents. So Nimoy's portrayal of Samuel was a welcomed treat. Pryce does a good job of portraying a king being menaced with jealousy and madness BUT and this is a big one, he does not even remotely resemble the king described in scripture. Also, David NEVER expressed any contempt towards King Saul and revered him as God's anointed one. So all those scenes of palace intrigue with David and Saul gritting spitefully at each other are completely wrong. The longer I watched this movie, the more scriptural errors I found. Why is it so hard to make a Biblical movie that's true to both scripture and human nature. Why do they all have to be either over-acted and poorly produced or well-produced erroneous versions of scripture? Scripture tells some pretty compelling stories and if filmmakers were to stick to the scriptural account and cast great actors, they would have the easiest time making the best movies ever.
Since I, a minister, like to see the Biblical accounts enacted, I like this movie. Though the setting is Israel, Morocco passed for the Jewish country. There was plenty of action and very good acting. I liked Leonard Nimoy as the prophet Samuel, quite a change from his role as Star Trek's Dr. Spock. Jonathan Pryce was mean and evil, as was King Saul himself; but, unlike the real Saul, Pryce was not nearly as tall and heavy. Nathaniel Parker portrayed Israel's monarch almost flawlessly. And Sheryl Lee acted well the part of the tempting Bathsheba. The time setting was correct in this movie, going all the way from Saul's rejection of king (which led Samuel to go to the home of David's father Jesse) to David's being anointed as king, then to the end when God said the young boy Solomon would be the one to whom the temple would go. People may have wondered where David was during the strife taking place in his household, but the Bible does not indicate this. As a basic rule I was pleased with this TV movie about one of the most well-known characters in the Bible
David has been described as "the most winsome figure in the Bible" and
in the dictionary "winsome" means charming. Unfortunately there is
little charm in the stiff and mannered performance by Nathaniel Parker
as the adult David. Nor is the Saul of Jonathan Pryce any better.
Slight and balding, Pryce lacks the physical presence to make a
convincing Saul--first king of Israel and a character as tragic as
David was charming.
However, among a mainly British cast there are a few standouts. Most memorable are the portrayal of Absalom the rebellious son by young Rowan, the portrayals of Abner and Joab-- generals to Kings David and Saul--and in a small role, the actor who played adviser to Absalom in the very late sequences--and took his own life knowing that when his excellent advice went unheeded, it sealed his and Absalom's doom.
As Samuel, Prophet in Israel, a bearded and heavily made-up Leonard Nimoy seemed more an East European **rebbe** of the late 19th century, folksy and unpretentious, than a character of 3,000 years ago. Yet this contrasted nicely at times with the stagey manner of the other lead players. Sheryl Lee--more dancer than actress--did her best as Bathsheba, the woman beautiful enough to make a man disobey God but her acting had little conviction nor did she look all that dazzling.
It is in the outdoor and crowd scenes that that cheap production values of this made-for- cable video become painfully evident. It was filmed in Morocco, actually a promising location for a Bible epic, but apparently rushed to production with little attention to realism or coaching of locally recruited extras.
"The Story of David" (1976) starring a young Timothy Bottoms in Part I and filmed in Israel did much more with as little or less. THAT David truly was winsome--and "ruddy" as the Book of Samuel describes the shepherd boy who became king.
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