We went to see the movie Kingdom of Heaven last night at Century Cinema and were very surprised to find how packed the theater was. In order to find available seats for an 8:00pm screening, we had to buy the tickets at around 1:00pm. Apparently, Friday night is becoming movie night in Jordan. Anyway, the movie itself was well made, with superb cinematography and fine acting, although I’m not sure how accurate it was historically. Orlando Bloom’s performance was surprisingly top-notch. He really was the star of the film.

Kingdom of Heaven, which details a story of battles between crusaders and Arab Muslims over Jerusalem, was also well made in the sense that the spoken Arabic was actually accurate for a change. Unlike some other Hollywood productions, which used Iranian actors (or even a Maori native of New Zealand), indigenous Arab actors played the designated parts here.

Since I’m Jordanian and naturally biased towards my country, I couldn’t help but notice how many times the Jordanian city of Karak was mentioned in this movie. Even a whole scene took place inside the Karak castle. Personally, I think Jordan’s Ministry of Tourism should do something to promote the castle and city of Karak following the movie’s release. [Here’s a photo tour]

I’m quite sure Karak will become a name familiar to many after this flick’s run. My suggestion to the ministry of tourism: For crying out loud, market Karak as a tourist destination. Hollywood did their part (for once), now it is time to do yours.