Movie Review: Ben-Hur

Plot: A nobleman, Judah Ben-Hur (Jack Huston), is falsely accused of assassination attempt by his childhood friend and adoptive brother Messala (Toby Kebbell). He survives years of slavery under the Romans and attempts to get revenge by challenging his adoptive brother in a grand chariot race while being forever changed after a series of encounters with Jesus of Nazareth (Rodrigo Santoro).
Comment: It is a tense movie. People at that time were so violent, cruel, and merciless. It´s a little frightening. I couldn´t relax for a brief instant. 

  

The brawls are hustling and brutal. The movie depicts power and poverty but the focus is on Judah and Messala´s fight. It´s easy to understand Messala´s attitudes, but nothing justifies a betrayal.

Judah Ben-Hur is a prince and has a comfortable life in Jerusalem. He is a good man who doesn´t believe in God very much, he doesn´t have much faith. His life turns up-side down when he accuses himself to protect a boy and his family.

After five years of slavery, he returns to Jerusalem seeking for revenge. He is blind of rage. With help, he has opportunity to defeat his enemies and get pardon for crimes he was unfairly accused of.

His encounters with Jesus are amazing. Jesus´ participation is short but impacting. His dialogues are inspiring and changes Judah´s life.

There´s a moment when Judah says that hatred kept him alive. I think it is the opposite, his love and desire to reencounter his family that kept him alive.

The race is the highlight of the movie. They trained around 90 horses for several months to be able to race at 40 miles per hour. They are beautiful and strong. People die during the race. As they say in the movie, “The first to arrive is the last to die!” The race is so fast and nerve-racking that is hard to get all details.

The end is spectacular, different from what I expected. I cried! Judah was a hero from my point of view. He didn´t change his people´s life. He didn´t finish with the Romans´ oppression but he became a better man—a merciful man. He had all reasons to be anything else and hate everybody but he understood Jesus´ love, his life was transformed, and he could rebuild his family.

If I got something from this movie, it was Jesus´ message that transformed Judah´s life as well many other lives. I liked the movie. It´s violent but transmits a good message.

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