A film that goes by 'the book' with a little improvisation

A film that goes by 'the book' with a little improvisation

Exodus: Gods and Kings
English 3D (U/A)
Cast: Christian Bale, Joel Edgerton, Ben Kingsley
Director: Ridley Scott

The Bible has been interpreted in innumerable ways; what sounds convoluted to one represents “the truth” for another.

Somehow, Exodus: Gods and Kings has managed to work around this dichotomy in depicting the life of Moses, who, to most Christians, is the man who brought them the very basis on how to live — the Ten Commandments.

The book, which is believed to have originated in 6th century BC, starts from the birth of Moses until the declaration of the Ten Commandments with gory and unpalatable details in between.

The producers of Exodus: Gods and Kings have not strayed too far from the biblical account, which the film more or less covers from start to finish. It has, though, made subtle suggestions of how the calamitous ten plagues of Egypt could have occurred and has depicted Moses as unaware of his life as a baby in a basket.

Christian Bale had recently stoked a controversy by calling Moses, who he plays, a “barbaric schizophrenic”, but the film does not seem to have any such portrayal. If anything, the film has justified, although with twisted logic, the horrors that took place in Egypt during Moses’ time in the eyes of God and of the enemy, who in this case is Pharaoh Ramses (Joel Edgerton).

There is even room to assert religious beliefs, with the film illustrating several events in the book of Exodus with no scientific reasoning, including Moses encountering the sacred “burning bush”.

While Exodus: Gods and Kings is barely a revolutionary take on what the Bible has said, director Ridley Scott seems to have set a new precedent in cinematography and what 3D effects bring out. Even the arid and barren lands of Egypt look pleasing to the eye with the painstaking details in the effects.

One would think that, in particular, the depiction of the ten plagues would be the most unsightly bits to watch. You may cringe, but you’ll find it difficult to take your eyes off the screen because of the way the images jump right off it.

Some bits of the film might be mundane or boring, but this, perhaps, is a result of producers trying to go by the book and without bias towards any religious denomination.

Exodus: Gods and Kings is a movie you should watch for the graphics, if at all. Or because you want to know more about Moses’ role in the world’s biggest religion.

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