As a children’s church leader many years ago, I loved telling Bible stories in a way that modern children could relate. I didn’t change the stories, but I gave them a modern feel. Director David A.R. White has taken that same approach with The Book of Esther.

Biblical movies tend to include certain cliched details that let us know they’re period movies. – strong accents, Old English dialogue, marketplace scenes ( usually with animals running around), and a specific colorization. The Book of Esther has none of these. Instead, it has characters like us, only in beautiful period-inspired costumes.

If you’re looking for a traditional Biblical film with epic cinematography and big, dramatic scenes, this is not for you. However, if you’ve ever read a Bible story and wondered what it would have been like to be one of the characters, you’ll appreciate the intimate feel of this movie. The Book of Esther takes a behind the scenes look into the lives and minds of the main characters. We get their unique perspectives on the events that occurred in the transformation of a Jewish orphan into Queen of Persia.

At times the movie feels like a soap opera, which makes perfect sense considering many of the actors have a soap background. However, it’s subtle, and as a rule, not over-the-top. Jen Lilley shines as Esther. She’s beautiful, vibrant, charismatic, and real. Robert Miano is equally strong as Mordecai. Linda Bisesti and Thaao Penghlis had me laughing throughout the movie. They are such fun villains. Eliza Roberts was also fun as Esther’s gossipy friend. And Joel Smallbone holds his own, making his film debut as King Xerses.

This movie will appeal to Christian audiences who are familiar with the Bible story, but it will be equally entertaining to a secular crowd as the spiritual aspects of the movie are interwoven into the story and not tacked on as separate sermons.

Note: This article originally appeared in Sonoma Christian Home.

About the Author Sharon Wilharm

Christian women’s speaker, Sharon Wilharm, is a ministry leader, podcast host, and female filmmaker whose stories have impacted audiences around the globe. An accomplished storyteller, Sharon draws the audience in with humor, engages them with stories, then ties everything together to bring to light spiritual truths. Her heart’s desire is to encourage women in their walk with the Lord, showing them how to find God’s will for their life through prayer and scripture. “God is the Master Storyteller,” says Sharon. “I love helping women see how God is always at work behind the scenes laying the foundation for the glorious future He has in store for us.” Sharon is a firm believer in the power of prayer and has many stories to share of God working in miraculous ways in her own life as well as those around her. She’s passionate about teaching women how to pray and loves engaging with women in personal prayer. Wherever she goes, she finds herself surrounded by women in need of prayer, and she considers it an honor to pray with women whether they’re friends, family, or complete strangers. Sharon has enjoyed a lifelong fascination with women of the Bible and loves applying the biblical stories to modern situations. She teaches a Women Through the Bible study at her church, applying the S.O.A.P. method of scripture study. She especially enjoys delving into lesser known women and discovering encouraging truths for women of today. She recently launched a new podcast where she works her way through the Bible sharing the stories of All God’s Women.


  1. I knew right off something was wrong with the acting when Haman was talking with his wife. The actress who played Haman’s daughter should have played Esther and vice versa. One night with the King was better in my opinion.


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