David, now an old man, is still king of Israel. Among his sons, the ambitious Adonijah and the clever Solomon. The two young men are fierce rivals, since both are prospective heirs to the ... See full summary »
David, now an old man, is still king of Israel. Among his sons, the ambitious Adonijah and the clever Solomon. The two young men are fierce rivals, since both are prospective heirs to the throne and only one can be successful. During a hunting expedition, Adonijah challenges his younger brother Solomon to a chariot race. While Solomon, though brave, still retains a modicum of caution, the daredevil Adonijah is eager to win at all costs -- and loses control of his chariot. Solomon takes the seriously injured Adonijah back to Jerusalem. On the way there they meet the attractive Abishag, who despite her youth is versed in the use of healing herbs. She actually succeeds in helping the prince. Adonijah falls in love with Abishag -- but Bathsheba arranges things so that she works for David, hoping that her youth, her beauty and her healing powers will soothe the old king's suffering. Several members of the influential priesthood and also the respected army general Joab, who served David ... Written by
First Objective Glimpse into 'Wise King of Israel'
The biblical films can be divided into two sorts of screen adaptations: accurate ones and sheer travesties. While the first group refer to movies that treat the biblical content seriously and result in accurate depictions, the latter ones refer to freely adapted Hollywood productions that are rather 'celebrities vehicles' than 'biblical stories.' And among such Old Testamental figures popular in cinema like Abraham, Jacob, Moses, there is also Solomon, the son of king David, a great ruler of Israel known for his wisdom, the king who built the Temple of the Lord in the city of Jerusalem. But is it the only thing to know about Solomon?
Of course, the significant factor for many people is the artistic side of the movie. Directed by Roger Young (known for having made quite a few biblical epics), the movie is made with a flair for history concerning sets, locations, wardrobe, music and the general mood of the distant past in which the action takes place. Pure imagination, at moments, that occurs convincing. Most of the scenes, including the funeral of David, the entrance of Queen Sheba, the wise judgment by Solomon or the daybreak of temple solemnity will stun you as a viewer and an epic buff. In spite of the fact that there aren't many extras in this movie, the producers make a perfect use of their budget limitations.
Besides, referring to the words of the Norwegian reviewer, I absolutely agree that the cast in the film are really unforgettable, including the famous celebrities as well as the unexperienced ones who are given the supporting roles. Ben Cross in the lead leaves a lasting impact on the viewer's imagination. He does a brilliant job portraying Solomon's weakness combined with wisdom, Solomon's deepening reason combined with growing tolerance. Vivica A. Fox calls our attention to the southern beauty that the famous Queen of Sheba must have been. She once again portrays a figure so popular in cinema and portrayed by Betty Blythe in 1921 and Gina Lollobrigida in 1959. There, however, the "Shebas" focused on the queen's "sex appeal" (using today's terms), Ms Fox, however, adds to it such virtues like affection and subtleness. Anouk Aimee is memorable as Bathsheba, now the elderly woman who is no longer absorbed by sensual love but what she concerns about is reign. Here, a note should be made of Max von Sydow as old king David in the first 50 minutes of the movie. But acting and visual merits are not all that make the film worth seeing.
SOLOMON is a new challenge for biblical movie buffs primarily because it is the first film that gives us a clear and a very accurate insight into Solomon, the king and Solomon, the man. Solomon, considered one of the wisest men of the Bible, is, at the same time, more revealed with his weaknesses and idolatry that appeared in the later years of his life and are indeed historical. The movie, in this case, seems to break a kind of cliché that arose at the Israeli king. Solomon, searching wisdom and asking for wisdom in the famous prayer to God, receives this and uses this for the goodness of his people. Yet, in the very depth of his heart, he lets himself be absorbed by personal choices over political ones; in other words, he begins to think of himself more as a man than as a king and that leads him to confusion and division of the kingdom. It is the Solomon who once built the Temple of the Lord and now finds everything vain. It is the Solomon whose heart was once devoted to one True God and now offers sacrifices to mute idols. It is not the Solomon absorbed by lust only, like it is in case of SOLOMON AND SHEBA, but the controversial personality that we find in the Bible. How universal it is!
Therefore, I would recommend everyone to see this film. Perhaps, it won't make you love biblical movies. Nevertheless, it will truly make you reflect that all the wisdoms of today's world are never able to achieve the spirit and psychology of a single biblical story.
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