Movie: Ben Hur
Direction: Timur Bekmambetov
Cast: Jack Huston, Toby Kebbell, Rodrigo Santoro, Nazanin Boniadi, Ayelet Zurer, Morgan Freeman
Music: Marco Beltrami
Cinematographer: Oliver Wood
Editor: Dody Dorn, Richard Francis-Bruce, Bob Murawski
Genre: Drama, Adventure
What is it about: It’s a fifth film adaptation of the 1880 novel of the same name. This historical re-adaptation is directed by Timur Bekmambetov.
Why it’s disappointing: I haven’t seen the previous films adapted from the same novel. But can clearly see that this film is not what the novel might have been. The previous film in 1959 was an Academy Award Winner but I doubt this will be nominated in any main stream awards. The writing of the film was way too rushed for an adaptation of this stature. The film keeps establishing characters throughout with no room to explore at least one among the lot.
And that aspect of the film loses its grip among the audience. The performances were quite average and were not convincing in their respective characters. The lead actors Jack Huston as Judah Ben-Hur and Toby Kebbell as Messala seemed like poster boys. Morgan Freeman looks lost in film. And so was Nazanin Boniadi as Esther.
The pace is really fast but due to disinterested writing, it does not keep up with events and comes out as a half-baked period film.
What to watch out for: The film which loses on its content tries to make it up with its technical work. The 3D was spectacular and gives you great depth with detailing. Cinematography was splendid in action sequences and especially the final sequence was a good spectacle. Apart from these factors “Ben-Hur” doesn’t have anything to offer.
Verdict: Timur Bekmambetov was high on technical aspect than content and thus resulted a film, which fails to hold the interest of audiences in the cinema hall. Leave alone to live up to the previous films, it doesn’t stand its own ground with its own stature. Surely can give a miss.