The Ben-Hur film immediately reaped tremendous success. A total of 11 Oscars were successfully won. Which became a record. That could only be matched decades later by Titanic (1997) and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003). In addition, at the box office, Ben-Hur is also very successful. If inflation is taken into account, the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) film is the 14th highest-grossing film of all time.
It seems that success is what MGM wants to repeat. Which, this time, teamed up with Paramount Pictures. By producing a remake version of the film Ben-Hur. Which will air from October 5, 2016 in Indonesia. The story of the latest Ben-Hur film is still the same as the old version. Adapted from the novel by Lew Wallace published in 1880, entitled Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ.
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This latest version of Ben-Hur is, in fact, the fifth remake ever made. Before becoming a global phenomenon in 1959, the fictional story based on the Bible had been made into a silent film version. Twice. In 1907 and 1925. In addition, there is also an animated film version. Which was released in 2003 ago.
When compared to the 1959 version of the film, the 2016 version of Ben-Hur, made by director Timur Bekmambetov, is slightly different. Among other things, the story is closer to the novel. In addition, the duration is also shorter. Just two hours. Not like the old version of the film. That reaches 3.5 hours.
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In this latest film, Judah Ben-Hur (played by Jack Huston), initially, is told as a Jewish prince. Who lived at the time of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem. Which is being colonized by the Roman Empire. However, after being betrayed by his own adopted brother, Messala Severus (Toby Kebbell), Ben-Hur must lose everything. He was made a paddle slave. Then had to spend the rest of his life on a Roman warship.
However, based on his luck, after five years, Ben-Hur was able to break free. To be precise, after the slave ship where he was exiled came under attack in the middle of the ocean. Esther’s husband (Nazanin Boniadi) then returns to Jerusalem. To take revenge against Messala. It is said that he was an officer in the Roman army.
With the help of Sheik Ilderim (Morgan Freeman), who is a wealthy merchant, Ben-Hur is then trained to become a chariot racer. Then, when he felt ready, Ilderim asked him to challenge Messala in a race. If he wins the race, Ben-Hur will not only restore his pride, but also the dignity of the entire Jewish nation. Because Messala is the mainstay of the Roman racer.
Btw, according to the main character, Jack Huston, who once played in the Boardwalk Empire series (2010-2013), this Ben-Hur film does tell the history of 2,000 years ago. However, the story is still relevant to the current situation and conditions. The world’s climate has not changed much. There are still differences about religion and people who are at odds with each other.