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Movie Review - "Exodus: god's and kings"

I have to admit that I was very hesitant to see this movie after seeing that it received 1.5 out of 5 stars on several movie review sites. While I certainly like to be able to view movies for myself before staking too much claim into numbered reviews, I have to admit that 1.5/5 was an alarming number. Was it enough to spook me from seeing the movie? Initially, yes it was; although, I did end up seeing the movie at the urging of a few people.

I also must admit that I was initially attracted to the movie because of the previews. It wasn't so much that I was interested in seeing how close it was to the original story, but I wanted to see how this particular director would make the Exodus story come to life. I especially wanted to see how someone who doesn't claim to have a religious affiliation would interpret a faith story that has inspired so many people for thousands of years.

To be honest with you, I am still wrapping my mind around what I saw in the theaters. Ridley Scott, the director, stayed pretty close to the main details of the story we read in the book of Exodus. He does however offer a few twists that have jarred more than a few people of faith. Some people might think that it is a bit too violent for their tastes, but not everything in the Bible is peaceful. As a matter of fact, many stories written in the Bible are full of turmoil, hardship, and violence. What Scott offers us is what is referred to as midrash, a method that was and continues to be used by scripture scholars. It seeks to look beyond a literal view of a story so as to be able to see a deeper meaning. Sometimes this involves a bit of over-exaggeration. It would be like telling a story that you and a friend both experienced. He may tell the same story a bit differently than you might tell the same story. It is the same story, but different perspectives.

Ultimately, I think what we get in the movie "Exodus: gods and kings" is more of a historical-political view of the Exodus story as opposed to the spiritual side of the story. While there are a few aspects of the spiritual side of the story, this is far over-shadowed by the political focus that seems to be the thrust of the movie. The focus tends to stay on the injustice of slavery and the struggle of one man to help undo this injustice. Moses is able to inspire many to stand against Pharaoh, and in the end, we are left asking ourselves the question: "what does it mean to be a king?"

Opinion: I suppose if you stumbled across this review, you probably want to know if I recommend seeing the movie. In all honesty, I thought it was a bit longer than it needed to be, especially without some of the spiritual elements that the original Exodus story provides us. I would; however, recommend seeing this movie if you are looking for a unique interpretation of the original story. When you see it, you need to keep in mind that all movies lack some quality that the written story usually has in it. Just like most of our favorite books that are adapted into movies, most of those movies seem to be lacking just a bit. The acting itself was actually much better than I had originally expected. I also think that the writing did make the story run smoothly. The film ultimately gave us a bit of insight of what a political struggle might have been like in the ancient era, in this case, 1300 B.C.