I was wary about seeing Ridley Scott's latest film, Exodus: Gods and Kings, because the critics hate it 3 to 1 (saying it looked like "pure product... without vision"), and audiences almost 2 to 1 ("heavy-handed.... slap in the face"); and Scott has a checkered past in my book (Prometheus); but it's an astonishing achievement; more than meets the eye. I love all films that create that 'time machine' feeling of really being there. I've studied ancient Egypt for fifty years, and have been to tombs and temples. This a very real film.
So why are many rejecting it? The discrepancy is based largely on the fact that most viewers are Bible-illiterate these days, and have no idea what ancient life and people were really like. Fact is, the real Exodus story is "heavy-handed" and a "slap in the face" if you're a worshiper of power, a lover of wealth, and can't stand "judgments".
Exodus is long and difficult to watch at times, but is a genuine and powerful drama - as life often is. Scott pulls out every stop, and creates an almost shockingly realistic and soul-wrenching psychodrama. Nobody in it is wooden or uninvolved, and the cast is masterful and engaging. Christian Bale is at his best, along with Sigourney Weaver, Ben Kingsley, and a cast of new actors who look like they stepped out of the ancient world already formed. More than 15,000 people were involved in the production.
It's the perfect film for our age in that the core issue facing us right now is exactly the same core issue dealt with in Exodus: Power over Truth. Which will win? Do men with power define truth or does God? I can hear some of you saying that's the core issue of the whole Bible, and you're right.
Pharaoh Rameses never would give up, nor would his armies, even after the ten plagues that were so horrible they almost defy description. In the same way our modern Ruling Class will NEVER give up. They prove it again and again as our modern plagues have no effect. We must - somehow - escape from their malevolent influence. Like the Egyptians, they're doomed to suffer in their hell forever, and we can't let them drag us down with them.
How can we escape from this psychic Egypt? I don't know, but we'll be enslaved until we do.