Sunday, 7 December 2014

EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS


The defiant leader Moses rises up against the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses, setting 600,000 slaves on a monumental journey of escape from Egypt and its terrifying cycle of deadly plagues. -- IMDB

Perhaps the most disappointing film of the year. For an accomplished director, Ridley Scott has produced a real lemon. Apart from the special effects, just about everything is wrong. The casting doesn't work. It's as if it's a high school production where everyone has to have a part. There's plenty of well known actors but the casting decisions grate on the nerves. It just doesn't work. The worst decision is the casting of a precocious child to play the part of the Hebrew god. Really?! And it's boring! There is a complete absence of any dramatic tension. The original Hebrew legend is shot through with drama, spiritual significance, human frailty, political intrigue and confrontation. Most of this is missing and what is there is bland and insignificant. For example, the original story has Moses confronting the Egyptian magicians in repeated tests to prove who has the strongest god. Is that in the movie? Nope. The original has Moses with a stutter that prohibits him from having confidence in his ability to confront Pharaoh. In the movie? No. Each of the plagues are the result of confrontations between Moses and Pharaoh. In the movie? Nope. We have a purely naturalistic, logical development which, in the original legend, was a potent retribution from a god who was furious with the way his people were being treated. All in all, this movie is a pathetic retelling of a famous Hebrew legend in which Jewish identity is grounded. I really appreciate the retelling of stories such as this which push the boundaries, are controversial, and force us to think. But this? It’s nowhere near as good as the original story. Don’t waste your money.


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