Movie Review: The Red Tent

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Hello guys, been a while. . . so this would be my last post for this week and I’m gonna be super super busy for some time but I’m gonna try to keep to my words and be frequent as much as possible and also this movie review is gonna be a weekly one and also a book review that one is gonna be monthly plus the giveaway promised.

So here goes the movie review I promised. . .

I kinda have Derin a friend of mine to thank for this film. She mentioned it on snap chat with a very attention-grabbing caption and then I went searching on YouTube for the film and voilà, I found it and here I am today, reviewing it! . . . The Film is THE RED TENT.

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The film is a Lifetime Television’s adaptation of Anita Diamant’s novel ‘The Red Tent’, an historical book published in October, 1997 *such a long time you’d say*. . . It’s a broadened story about Dinah, the only daughter of Jacob that the Bible never really said much about. . .   

The film is a miniseries with two episodes/parts each running for two hours and was directed by Roger Young and it was premiered on Lifetime in December, 2014. . . The film tells the story of Jacob’s only daughter, Dinah beyond what the Bible fed us with. . . The character, Dinah who was the main character story was played by  Rebecca Ferguson and she was fabulous and excellent and I just couldn’t resist her. . . she was the narrator of the film. She took us through each stage of her life from childhood to adulthood as she started from the story of how Jacob ran to Laban, fell in love with Rachael,  married Leah first and then Rachael; how Laban pushed Jacob to the wall causing them to leave, Jacob reuniting with Esau, meeting Rebecca again and how she grew up into herself and the cordial relationship that existed between her and Joseph!. . . Dinah narrated the story of The Red Tent and the secrets of the Red Tent.

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Rebecca Ferguson as Dinah and Ian Glen as Jacob

Plot
Plot was awesomely inventive. . . The story lets us into the character of Leah, Rachael, Zilpah and Bilhah the handmaids who also bore Jacob sons. . . And also, the secret of the tent which is where the women of Jacob’s tribe must, according to the ancient law, take refuge while menstruating or giving birth, and in which they find mutual support and encouragement from their mothers, sisters and aunts and men were not allowed in; and how this teaching and secret was an integral part of Dinah’s life. . . This is a story beyond what the Bible told us about Dinah . . . Yes, Dinah lost her pride to the Prince of Shechem, and her brothers in revenge thinking their sister was raped slain the men after they were circumcised, the Bible stopped there but a lot happened afterwards. . . Jacob lost Dinah, she cursed him, left her home to bury Prince Shalem, she had a son, lost her son, found her son and ended up reuniting with Joseph and forgiving her Father and she ended up spending the rest of her days in the loving arms of Benia, her second husband.

The movie wasn’t a slow one and no scene was unnecessary. Every scene was important to the next one. .. Dialogue was precise and spy and emotions and realism flew through every lines rendered. Also, the movie has a great setting; don’t let me forget to mention that the location was real like all these ancient/epic films we do watch. . . The props and set design were enough and on point! Like this was a well-planned film that it is so hard to find faults. . . The costumes also were expected as they fitted and portrayed the culture/background of the people in story. . . And Yea, the music, there wasn’t so much of a song in the movie which was also expected judging by the genre of the film but there were sounds; the kind you’d want to call instrumental music kinda and it added to the ambience and beauty of the movie! And oh I love the fact that this movie was a kind of filling in the gaps instrument from where the Bible stopped and that the actors was a display of a casting well done, I very much appreciated the fact that Joseph’s story was incorporated into the film and I didn’t so much love the fact that a little glimpse wasn’t given about Dinah’s relationship with her other brothers after she found her peace but I guess Joseph was more key to Dinah’s story than them!

I have favourite scenes and lines from the movie like the scene where Dinah who is considered to be an apprentice of midwifery under Rachael followed Rachael to the palace to deliver a royal child under the King’s authority at Shechem and there she saw Shalem the prince again after previously meeting from afar at the market, she told Rachael about how she thinks she has found her own true love like hers and Jacob’s and then it was time to leave but the King ordered Dinah to stay with only Rachael returning home only for the King to appear the next day at Jacob’s house telling him Dinah is no longer a virgin and she’s married to her son and he wants to talk about the bride price and afterwards, Jacob was mad at Rachael saying if she hadn’t left her there, it would have been avoided and so was Leah who had made Rachael promised to look after her. . . Rachael then told Jacob that the King ordered and she could not refuse and Jacob said ‘I am your King!’. . . I love the authority that came with the utterance!

Also, the scene where Dinah and Rachael were packing up to leave Laban’s, Dinah was sad and Rachael told her she should be adventurous cos her true love might just be in the new city waiting for her and she would be so lucky and Dinah replied that she would be luckier cos she won’t have to share him with another woman. . . There were many of those scenes, the scene where she stood up to her grandmother Rebecca, the scene where they were looking for handmaids to help the delivery at the palace and the Queen walked in unknowing to Dinah that she was the Queen, she dragged her in to help and after she was told by Rachael that she was the Queen; she just went on to say nice meeting you, come help us with the delivery lol! And lastly I kinda love the scene where she was brought in all wrapped up by her brothers all covered in her husband’s blood after the slain, she challenged Jacob demanding justice and she said he wouldn’t deliver justice after all she’s female and she’s nothing less than a property you could see grief and pain in her voice, she left cursing Jacob!

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Rebecca Ferguson (Dinah) covered in Prince Shalem’s blood reacting to the despicable act of her brothers

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Small Dinah in the company of Zilpah, Bilhah and her two mothers

Notes from the Movie
– Dinah was a strong, wise, self-willed and passionate woman.
– She was very close to Joseph! In fact they shared a bond and the bond automatically clicked after they met again.
– Dinah was very close to Rachael and she in fact taught her the act of midwifery.
– It was Rachael who planned with Leah to trade places and not really Laban and it wasn’t as if Jacob didn’t have a great consummation with Leah that night; he just assumed Laban knew something about it.
– Jacob loved Rachael so much that even when she bore him no children, she was still his and also, it took Leah and Rachael a long time to adjust to sharing the same husband.
– Laban was a wife-beater as he abused his second wife, Ruti who ended up committing suicide because Jacob’s family was leaving unknowing that due to Dinah’s wisdom, Jacob planned to buy her from Laban just to save her.
– Dinah wasn’t a fan of Rebecca. She found her testy and ruthless towards lower class citizens and also it was discovered that Joseph did has Rebecca’s gifts cos she sees into the future but she asked to see Dinah for she saw similarities in them; she saw her future cos it was after that she found Shalem, the Prince.

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Leah (Minnie Driver), Dinah (Rebecca Ferguson) and Rachael (Morena Baccarin)

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Rachael (Morena Baccarin) and Dinah (Rebecca Ferguson) in the Red Tent

This film taught me a very key thing apart from broadening Dinah’s tale, I learnt that we are never healed unless we find our peace! Make peace and let it go! Rachael died first, gave the ring Jacob gave her to Leah that was her way of making peace and Leah in turn, gave it someone to pass it on to Dinah, her way of telling her to make peace.

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Dinah (Rebecca Ferguson), Joseph (Wil Tudor) and Leah (Minnie Driver)

Rating: 10/10. . . You should watch!     

“Women are the lucky ones cos we have the power to give life. . . In the red tent, we surround ourselves with healing arms and loving voices and we give thanks for the knowledge that life comes from between our legs and the cost of life is blood.” Rachael, Morena Baccarin; The Red Tent.

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