Monday, 29 December 2014

Exodus: Gods and Kings. A Joke?

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Exodus: Gods and Kings may not be exactly what history buffs are looking for. It is also not being taken well by religious people. Why? Simply because the movie is both historically inaccurate and religiously incorrect. As in incorrect in terms of Torah, Quran and the Bible.  

I had already read the poor reviews before I watched the movie but I thought hey what the heck….soo maybe the movie is not all that accurate (okay, not accurate at all) but it still has Christian Bale right? I mean, hot, suave, made to be swooned over Christian Bale? So I decided to give it a try. I must say I am disappointed.

Christian Bale looks great. Let’s get that established from the very beginning. No matter how inaccurate the movie was or how I disagreed with most parts of it, there is no doubt that Bale looked gorgeous. Seven actors have played Moses so far and I can bet you anything, no one, not even Charlton Heston, has as gorgeous a smile as Bale’s Moses. Yes, Moses smiles in this movie. That too pretty sarcastically most of the time.

However, the movie itself falls flat. I was expecting much more from Ridley Scott but what I felt after watching the movie was that he had put more time and effort into the special effects and the sets and the whole nine yards and forgot about the story somewhere along the way.  

Egypt has already banned the screening of the movie because of historical errors and the racist image of Jews. Christians seem equally offended because they feel that Scott's version of the Exodus is severely altered from the actual Biblical story.

What bothers me most about this movie is Scott’s attitude. Scott's need for a "scientific explanation for the parting of the Red Sea other than divine intervention" doesn't really make him the best choice as the director of a religious/historical movie. He doesn't stop there mind you. In the movie, Scott shows that the Red Sea parting occurs because of an earthquake. I mean, I am no religious fanatic but seriously???? First, if you don't believe in divine intervention, please stay away from DIVINE stories. Second, if you disagree or think your main character (who is considered to be a PROPHET OF GOD by many) is not "a good human being", DO NOT make a movie about him! Are you freaking kidding me???

“You can’t just do a giant parting, with walls of water trembling while people ride between them,” said Scott, who said he failed to believe the sight when as a child he watched 1956’s The Ten Commandments. “I remember that feeling, and thought that I’d better come up with a more scientific or natural explanation.” Er... okay!!!!

Bale doesn't help either with his negative remarks about Moses. Calling the character you are playing “barbaric” and “schizophrenic” doesn’t do much for you as an actor now does it? I mean, do you want people to think you are best left to be Batman? Or do you have more depth? No doubt we love how you look and how you smile and what not but an actor in your position can pick and choose roles and if you do not like the character you’re playing, either don’t do it or don’t degrade him publicly. Apparently, Bale did significant research on Moses and read the Torah, the Quran and Jonathan Kirsch's Life of Moses. Don’t really know what he derived out of this comprehensive study!

Religion aside, there are several historical errors in the movie. I never knew the Egyptians had explosives ... I mean like proper explosives. As far as my historical knowledge goes and I can be wrong of course, gunpowder had not been invented in Moses' time. And while Scott is so quick to dismiss the parting of the Red Sea, he does not hesitate to show a chariot flying when Moses stabs it with his spear. I mean, make up your mind. Was Moses special or not?

Overall, I just don’t like the way they portrayed Moses. I am not much into religion but the story of Moses is one of the most interesting among all religious stories. But Scott’s Moses is cynical, sarcastic and downright arrogant. We all know Moses talked to God (as per the religious scripture) but in this movie, Bale has an attitude problem even when he is talking to God. I also didn’t think much of the actor who played Ramses. He just doesn’t fit the role but that’s just my opinion.

First Noah and then this. I’m really not sure what the goal of such movies is. I would take Gladiator any day over all these so-called religious depictions of actual religious figures. Seriously.


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