Saturday, November 17, 2007

Books into movies, take #1

Do you picture all the action in book as you read? I do; always have. Sometimes a book leaves me simply panting for a film version, despite Hollywood's mostly miserable track record in doing this.

So let's imagine that it's possible to have a perfect screen adaptation of a terrific book. And let's also imagine that all the casting, directing, costuming, scoring and other production choices are ours, all ours. Which book would you choose?

This is a tough one because I can think of so many answers. But as I pondered this question today, the first book that came to mind was...the Biblical Book of Esther. The setting is in and around the ancient kingdom of Ahasuerus (Xerxes I), about 485-464 B.C. King Ahasueru lived in a fabulous, fortified palace furnished with linen, precious metals, black marble, white marble, alabaster, turquoise and more. He was served on golden vessels. I can just see what is called "the riches of his glorious kingdom and the splendor of his excellent majesty!"

Queen Vashti wasn't interested in her king, so a beauty contest was ordered to find her replacement Imagine all the pageantry there must have been in that contest! We're told that "beauty preparations" were given the young women, and that it took them twelve whole months to prepare for the competition.

The intrigue and suspense begin when beautiful Esther, a Hebrew woman, enters the contest at her uncle's urging. King Ahasuerus is not Hebrew, and Mordecai, Esther's uncle, tells her to keep mum about her heritage for the time being. Mordecai and Esther team up to save the king from a deadly plot on his life. She rises high in the king's estimation.

Enter wicked Haman, a treacherous and conniving man who breathes blood and murder against the Hebrews. Haman puts into motion a plot against them, setting up the king to make a decree that keeps Haman's hands clean yet will, if accomplished, result in all-out genocide.

What happens next to everyone is familiar to everyone who celebrates Purim and to all who remember their Bible history. Some of the characters shall rise and one shall fall in a particular stroke of poetic justice.

What a story - - it has everything! There is opulence, intrigue, romance, action and suspense, outrage and satisfaction, fascinating and fully-rounded characters plus an ending that delivers just deserts to one and all - - everything that plays well on the big screen.
Now let's see, whom do I want to play the leads...?
(submitted by Moon Rani)

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