Ben Hur is a testament to the soul of filmmaking. The sets, the costumes, the music, the acting, the cinematography, the dialogue, the story, the framing, the atmosphere. Every aspect of the movie was meticulously crafted and it was easily visible how hard the crew had worked on the film.
The issue with watching older, lauded movies is that in their day, they were so innovative, their influence on filmmaking lasts to this day. At this point, their influences been adopted by even terrible, half baked cash grabs. This makes things difficult to gauge as ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Ben Hur is one of those films, who’s impact on filmmaking remains til this day. The film was so well made, it’s very obvious that this was the movie that used a certain technique or shot that we now see in many movies.
It runs at a whopping three hours and fifteen minutes, but the story is, frankly, not that long. When a filmmaker is able to take a simple story, and weave it such that it lasts for hours, yet captivates your attention, that is talent. The only flaw in the movie is also masked by one of its greatest strengths. The lengthy film was crafted so well that it needs to be finished.
There’s a lot of hard work put into this movie, and it’s well worth the lengthy watch. 8/10, and if I had a longer attention span, I’d give it a higher rating.