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The classic in bits and pieces

The classic in bits and pieces
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Highlights

This time we’ll have to bypass the “comparisons are odious” line as William Wyler’s 1959 version was a wonder and though the chariot race was the biggest, it was not the only one.

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This time we’ll have to bypass the “comparisons are odious” line as William Wyler’s 1959 version was a wonder and though the chariot race was the biggest, it was not the only one. ‘Ben-Hur’ 3D is more modern and director Timur Bekmambetov takes a few liberties with the script but the overall effect is more than a notch below the original.

Firstly, the lead roles by two unknowns Jack Huston (no relative of John Huston) and Toby Kebbell as against giants like Charlton Heston and Stephen Boyd, is a major handicap. That Kebbell sort of resembles a young Jerry Lewis is another no-no. Also their performances are just about average.

Bekmambetov’s ‘Ben-Hur’ 3D’s plus points are the more “Christian” ending, greater footage to Jesus (Rodrigo Santiro) and the “galley slaves” exposure. That Judah Ben-Hur (Huston) and Messala (Kebbell) “adopted brothers” have to part due to socio-religious reasons only show the extent to which former friends become bitter enemies. But here too the parent film is more lucid.

The road tread is long and the sets quite impeccable and the characters diverse. Sheikh IIderim (Morgan Freeman) puts Ben-Hur in touch with horses and hence the chariot race, and Esther (Nazanin Boniadi) the hero’s love interest moves in and out of the frame from time to time. But the movie tends to slip out of grasp now and then even though it is shorter (123 minutes) than the original. In sum ‘Ben-Hur’ 3D is still worth watching.

Film Name : Ben-Hur 3D

Cast : Jack Huston, Morgan Freeman, Toby Kebbell & Nazanin Boniadi
Direction : Timur Bekmambetov
Genre : Historical-action
Likes : Christian ending and running time
Dislikes : Jack Huston and Toby Kebbell

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