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Ben-Hur Review - Scroll

Scroll: Timur Bekmambetov’s period epic Ben-Hur gives the BC era the AD treatment. The latest adaptation of Lew Wallace’s 1880 novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of Christ has the crisp, flattening finish of the contemporary digital production, secular treatment of the original’s text’s explicitly religious themes, and excision of sexually suggestive subtext. The barely disguised homoerotic tensions between the fictional Jewish prince Judah Ben-Hur and his friend-turned foe Massala in William Wyler’s acclaimed 1959 adaptation have been replaced by less intense emotions. Even Jesus Christ helpfully speaks in Biblical cliches, so that nobody could possibly mistake the bearded carpenter wandering through Roman-occupied Jerusalem as a very early hipster.

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