UK | Spain | Germany | Canada TV co-production based on Lew Wallace's classic novel
This Television monumental version of 180 min and 2 parts about the renowned story during the time of Christ which was filmed several times, concerning on a wealthy Jewish named Ben-Hur results to be an acceptable movie with huge production design and wonderful scenarios . Ben Hur tells the story of two childhood friends whose lives go in drastically different directions leading to an unforgivable betrayal and lifelong quest for vengeance . The story is well known , a rich Jewish nobleman Ben Hur (Joseph Morgan -The Vampire Diaries- in the title role) and his confrontation to military Messala (Stephen Campbell Moore, Season of the witch , Hunted), though they were childhood friends . When happen a distress , a tile falls during a Roman parade, Judah and his family are wrongfully accused and Ben Hur incurs the hostility his previous friend and is condemned to galley slavery , reduced to manning an oar ; then his family is sent to prison during several years and subsequently his mother and sister are banished as lepers . Judah Ben-Hur is wrongly accused of inciting a riot that endangered the life of Pontius Pilate (Hugh Bonneville, Downton Abbey). As a result, Judah's former best friend , and now up-and-coming Roman soldier Messala (Stephen Campbell , earlier performed by Stephen Boyd) condemns . When he's in a galleon as slave rower saves to Quinto Arrio (Ray Winstone , previously played by Jack Hawkins) who subsequently appointed him as a heir . Years later he goes back to seek revenge upon his Roman tormentor .As he returns Palestina where his mother Miriam and sister Tizrah (roles performed by Alex Kingston and Kristen Krouk , and formerly by Martha Scott and Cathy O'Donnell respectively) are prisoned at Antonia fortress . This culminates in a groundbreaking chariot race . The classic tale is added religious issues about Jesus life , as are described the pilgrimage , Mountain sermon , Passion , crucifixion and resurrection .
Lavishly produced by various countries , this miniseries does attempt to achieve television levels of epicness and by channeling HBO's Rome, this miniseries succeeds . Adequate main cast such as Joseph Morgan as the noble wrongfully punished and sent away to be a slave and Stephen Campbell as his friend and nemesis . Being a Britain/Spain co-production the film has an enjoyable cast formed by English actors as Joseph Morgan, Stephen Campbell Moore, Ray Winstone, Alex Kingston, Hugh Bonneville and Spanish players as Simon Andreu , Miguel Angel Muñoz and Lucia Jimenez .
This 3 hr 12 minutes recounting of this religion-infused revenge saga turns out to be a not-terrible way to spend time . However , it has some inappropriate sexual scenes and nudism which does not fit with clean and pure earlier versions . The Series achieved success , it is probably related to the fact that nearly the entire cast has been featured in popular TV shows this season . Though its aspirations are far more modest, I went in expecting Ben Hur to be similar to the recent History Channel miniseries, The Bible. I slogged through it because I still find a lot of the stories exciting . Most sets designed by Benjamin Fernandez -who made Gladiator- , a real research, and several months of labor were required for the film . Well staged battle ships made by computer generator and a breathtaking chariot races , being filmed in Valencia , Spain . The dialogue , colorful images , majestic set design , glamorous photography by Ousama Rawi , evocative musical score combine to cast an entertaining movie . Rousing soundtrack by Rob Lane who composes thrilling as well as sensitive melodies . The motion picture was compellingly realized by director Steven Shill who has directed many episodes of famous series such as ¨Shameless¨ , ¨Missing¨, ¨V¨, ¨Law and order¨, ¨Rome¨ , ¨The good wife¨, ¨Los Tudor¨ , ¨Criminal Minds¨ , ¨Soprano¨ , among others .
There are numerous renditions based on Lee Wallace's Ben Hur , as stage version , classic MGM's mammoth silent version ¨Ben Hur¨ (1926) by Fred Niblo with Ramon Novarro; and the remake Ben-Hur (1959) in which Stuntman Cliff Lyons worked as a stuntman/chariot driver in both Ben Hur (1925) and this 1959 retelling . Ben Hur is a big budget version by William Wyler that won a record of 11 Oscars and was the most expensive picture of its time , being one of the greatest movies of all history. Cartoon version (2003) by Bill Kowalchuk in which a prologue and epilogue narrated by Charlton Heston ; and this ¨Ben Hur TV series¨ (2010) by Steven Shill with Joseph Morgan as Judah Ben-Hur , Stephen Campbell Moore as Messala , Emily VanCamp as Esther as Kristin Kreuk as Tirzah , Ben Cross , Simón Andreu , Alex Kingston , James Faulkner , among others .
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