Cinema Corner: Exodus: Gods and Kings

It’s been a while since I last wrote a review, with my exam period over I had some time to visit the cinema and catch up with some movies that I had initially missed out on. Last week I had the opportunity to see the latest Ridley Scott biblical epic and the new Disney Marvel animation Big Hero 6. This review, as stated in the title, is going to be about the former. I was originally surprised at the quiet release of this movie, well around my area that is, I was skeptical of this movie as well based on the reports about the ‘whitewashing’ of the movie; i.e. the majority of the main cast being Caucasian. I would address that later in this review. But I have to say I enjoyed the movie overall, the acting and the visual effects both worked perfectly. It took some time but I was finally able to see Christian Bale and Joel Edgerton as Moses and Ramses. This is my personal review, you may not totally agree with me, but please remember subjectivity is key. There are a couple of minor spoilers.

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“A game of biblical thrones”

xxxMINOR SPOILERS AHEADxxx

The movie is mostly adapted from the Bible, particularly the chapter of Exodus. It follows the life of Moses as he grows up in the family of the Egyptian royalty and eventually follows his exile and his quest to liberate his Hebrew brethren who have been subject to slavery under the Egyptian regime, through the help of God. The movie deals with themes of spirituality, oppression, liberation and more. Moses was able to carry out his mission to free his people through the help of God. This was another interesting dynamic to me cause I was curious to see how Ridley Scott was going to portray the image of God. The childish representation used in the movie actually resonated with me as I could see how truly frustrated God would be to see his people be continually oppressed for so long. It also made me think of the jealousy of God, which in my opinion made sense, as I could imagine the annoyance to see one’s own creation behave in such bizarre and uncouth manner like the Egyptian did. Another thing I really loved about the movie was the portrayal of the 10 plagues, which were captured beautifully and albeit realistically with some really good and practical display of the plagues which were hilariously explained scientifically by a character from the movie adding some plausible logic behind the plague. The effects jumped right out of the screen and felt really captivating. I saw the movie in 3D and the plague with the flies did make me a bit queasy as I felt like the flies were in the cinema.

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“Who let the toilet overflow again”

Now that I have spoken about some of my pros about the movie, I would like to talk about some cons, firstly I did not really like the pacing of the movie, as it felt like a drag at times particularly after Moses’ exile. The movie slowed down to quite a halt during Moses’ shepard years. There was also some lacking character development in some characters namely Joshua( who was played by Aaron Paul) and Aaron, the latter being Moses’ blood brother. agreed the story wasn’t mainly about them, but it would have been nice to see more fleshed out personalities from them. As a Christian myself, I have read the book of Exodus a couple of times and I know how much personality that both Joshua and Aaron have. These were my major cons with the movie. Concerning the ‘whitewashing’I must say I was also very peeved initially with the casting choices for the movie, but after some while I was able to see Christian Bale as Moses, a man conflicted by his beliefs and desire for justice and sanctity and Joel Edgerton as Ramses,  a brat of a king with the personality of a man child. Although most of the slaves in the movie were portrayed by Egyptian actors, I could see why Ridley Scott would cast the popular actors like Bale and Edgerton, given the fact that this was a very expensive movie to produce with a budget nearing 150 million dollars, it stands to logic that one would use the faces of popular actors in order to sell the movie and besides Charleton Heston(a Caucasian) also portrayed Moses previously in the Ten Commandments. Although I would have preferred Egyptian actors to play the parts of Moses and Rameses, I quite understand why they were played by these A-list actors. With all this been said, principally found the movie to be entertaining and I would like to see other biblical stories and chapters done on this epic scale like the book of Joshua and Judges. Overall I give this movie a 7 out of 10. Have you see the movie? Let me know what you thought about the movie in the comment section?

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“Where is my bat suit when I need it”

PROS

  • Epic scenery:- The movie truly felt epic and grande, the battle scenes were well done and perfectly shot and the plagues were well represented and showcased.
  • Gorgeous landscapes:- The Egyptian empire was shown with awesome flamboyance and beauty.
  • Strong lead cast:- Despite my initial cynicism, the lead actors really held their own and showcased their characters well.
  • Accurately portrayed plagues:- The plagues did feel very real and devastating just as they were described in the bible.

CONS

  • Slow second act:- The movie crawled a bit for me during some moments in its second act
  • Poorly developed secondary characters:- Other characters like Joshua and Aaron were not given enough personalities.
  • Little whitewashing effect:- Despite the lead actors delivering amazing performances, some of the actors were unconvincing as Egyptians like John Turturro and Sigourney Weaver.

What are your thoughts? What were your opinions on the ‘whitewashing’ in the film? I have also been working on developing my own YouTube channel were I would be reviewing movies and videogames and talking about other things. Once my channel is completely set up, I would let you know where to find me and follow me. Stay tuned for my Big Hero 6 review. Till next time. Szia.

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“Well tell Moses to stop hiding my mascara”
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