This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
zuhair vazir’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
NOTE: May contain minor spoilers. Like how Zipporah says:' You may proceed.' Yup, nothing major.
You know what, it would have been so much simpler if Sir Ridley would have sent Ripley after Moses. There would be no parting of the Dead Sea, no one would drown, the 'slaves' would return to what they do best; scheme and scheme and scheme until Mel Gibson gets arrested for DUI and is made a pariah for his freedom of slurred speech.
One way train I tell you.
Plus, Ramses would complete ornamenting Memphis with phallic structures all over Egypt with one across the White House and three in Mecca.
Ripley would not have even let (metrosexual) Batman and his men get to the right wing of the palace and Joel Edgerton would not have to live like a damn Bedouin.
All jokes asides, seriously, Tuya would have taken Moses down the first time he mocks Horus. Where did the rest of the biblical references go? Heck, even the Second Book of the Hebrew Torah has been taken liberty with. I do not understand why? Ridley Scott made another film 'Kingdom of Heaven, 2005', where the Knight (not Dark Knight) based his screenplay on various sources, including an unorthodox reference picked directly from another popular mythology.
Oh, I forget, 40 minutes of footage is still lying in the editing room for 'Heaven' (after the director's cut release).
The same mythology states that Mr. Quiz Show was Ramses and not Edgerton, and Tuya was the one who spotted the basket on the banks of the Nile and not Miriam (Tara Fitzgerald).
Asiya (Aa-see-ya), another name from another holy scripture for Tuya, was the one who hid Moses from the Pharoh until his heart softened and was replaced with, again, the 'power blood lineage' calculation (they were childless) and Moses rebelled against The Pharoh Ramses, his step daddy-o and not the very sexy and talented Joel Edgerton.
Plus, we are shown Moses parting ways with his staff? Although Christian Bale puts in a lot but perhaps he lost sight of the character mid-way and then caught up with it when an old and a sagacious Moses with dilated pupils glances out of his carriage and sees God. I don't blame him. He was tasked with playing Moses, after all.
Moses, not Gladiator or Achilles nor David or Jonah or Lot. Moses, a man who first fled Egypt after killing a man after an altercation. Moses, who stammered and asked his blood-brother, Aaron (Harun) for help while preaching. Moses, who stood taller than the Pharaoh and reduced the state magicians to birthday party tricksters.
Moses (Moshe, Musa) who is one of the most famous biblical personalities after Jesus Christ. Have you watched 'The Passion of The Christ', 2004. Never mind.
There are other sequences where the narrative is added to or some of the significant bits are selected to burn after reading because of the long run-time? Dude this is MOSES, they made a bigger, better, grander, film on how power is 'safe' in the hands of the oppressed. They made a film that revolves around a hobbit or two for fuck's sake. A film that took a decade to make; for what? To bring the tale of J.K. Rowling (No, no... nipple-fuck no), I mean J. R. R. Tolkien to the big screen and how. By the way Tolkien was heavily inspired by the second source material I referred to. Who cares, the film bagged more Oscars than Winehouse bagged street crack-coke. Impolite I know, but she would not stop, like Ramses.
'How do you expect to recapture 400,000 slaves'
'Who said anything about recapturing them?'
'Exodus' is grand, well-made, superbly scored with great performances. The production values are going through the roof and the film is extremely gritty, dark and technical in its execution. However, it suffers from a paper-thin script and the blatant inaccuracies.
The context is a not of 'Biblical intensity'; neither frightening nor oppressive or challenging (isn't this infamous duel one of the most intimidating and fiercest of enmity between two of the most powerful men to have happened to history?).
Plus a heart-to-heart, man-to-man discussion on ideals would have really tested the two actors mettle, maybe even pushed it; but Ridley is no Fletcher. There is only one Professor Fletcher and I bet he would side with Ramses.
So, yes, sending Warrant Officer Ripley (finally aging) after Moses would have been more effective; c'mon we all know that, plus the mascara looks better on women. Errr... not that Edgerton did not look sexy. And Thank goodness Moses did not look sexy after the first half hour, during which he is an Egyptian Commander and Prince. Ah, power and ignorance make you sexy. Only in Hollywood and Ancient Egypt and The Village.
Plus where are the cats? The obsession of Ramses with Horus? The burning bush? What? There was one. Alright. I loved the scenes when God reveals Himself to Moses and is full of anger for the race that has not mended its ways for '400 YEARS!!!'. I shed a tear when Moses is shown working on the tablets in the cave, knowing well that 'his' men would not be the same people, when he would descend, who fled Egypt for Midian and then to the 'Promised land.
I keep stressing on the idea that Ripley would have been a worthy foe, realizing fully that women could not choose their partners or talk when MEN were talking. Politics? ARE YOU MAD? All that would change circa 570 AD, but that's another story to be told some other time.
So when you alter one of the most popular and titular parables of the divine kind and yet it makes more money (this guy made 'Blade Runner') than 'Bruce Almighty, 2003'. Just saying.
I also realize that sending Tuya after Moses would have changed the name of the film to: 'Exodus: (Has-been) Goddesses and Alien Queens'. It's not as if the writers made any serious effort to get the facts or myths or the interesting bits right (the court magicians versus Moses?). Or that the writers added their own make up to the benign Pharoh Senior, Seti.
A benign Seti is like the 'Dog Alien' from the Fincher Alien, attacking Wynona Rider and then apologizing to her before turning back.
I love Scott and I like the film just enough to give it three stars. However, it kills me to say this, Scott seems to have lost the shine, it appears, in the past few years.
Wasn't the Sphinx there before Ramses' rule? It was and that is how Scott interpreted it. Oh, alright. Just asking.
Did Ramses not drown in the Red Sea with his army and chariots and a shitload of cats?
Not according to the four writers. A mash-up of 'Tower Heist', 'Constant Gardner' and 'Gangs of New York'.
Who cares, this is not Sunday lessons, it's showbiz and you know the rest.
'I've noticed that from you.'
'You do not always agree with me.'
'Nor you with me. I've noticed.'