Monday, 9 March 2015

Film review: Noah (2014) & Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014)

So, I'm gonna write a brief review of these two religious epic films in conjunction since they're both based on stuff in the Bible. First of all, I didn't really like Noah, while I found Exodus pretty great. The reason I didn't like Noah as much is mostly that it felt really ridiculous from so many perspectives; I mean, of course the filmmakers had a lot more creative freedom with it than the filmmakers of Exodus as literally more or less nothing is known about the actual Noah or... well, anything, really, other than what the Bible says. Anyway, that should mean they could've made it a lot more interesting, but instead they made it a toned-down pile of sticks that just didn't make much sense.

Exodus, on the other hand, was about as good as it could have been. I don't get all the hate the film gets for the "whitewashing"; sure, Moses wasn't white and neither was anyone else in Egypt at that time (or maybe some were, but if so, they were a serious minority), but it's no different from how the Watchers were portrayed in Noah as weird rock thingies that sounded like Autobots. Yes, you could argue that it's different in that Moses, etc. were actually people and that it's supposedly disrespectful towards them and their ancestors to have white actors portraying them, while the Watchers may not have even existed (or if they did, they were probably just people (I don't really know if I believe in them or not; I kind of do, but on the other hand I have difficulties separating beliefs from paradoxical optimism/pessimism... but I'm not gonna go into that now)).

But here's the thing: in my honest opinion, it added to the political tension in the film. Besides, you should realise that it would've gotten a lot more complaints from people if Ramses had been black(ish); I mean, casting black actors into "evil" roles is always faced with allegations of racism. And, really, when I say it added to the political tension, I mean that it's a bit like a kick in the collective ballsack of all neo-Nazis worldwide because the way Joel Edgerton acted was somewhat Hitleresque at times.

Now, something I have to mention just because of how I laughed about it: Exodus was banned in a few countries because of historical inaccuracies. You know, like, in other words, it didn't fit their ideals of nationalism and stuff. I get that it had some of those (maybe pretty many), but it's not like history will change because of how it's portrayed in a film. Besides, the Bible itself has been censored plenty in the past by God knows who for what purposes (often political propaganda), so it's not like it's going to matter if either of these films is going to change the way people think of people who died thousands of years ago in the long run more than other things have in the past.

Both films had good acting, great actors, cool things, etc. but at the end of the day, I'll give Noah 50/100 and Exodus 77/100. Now I wait for similarly epic films to be made based on the Book of Revelation and Genesis.

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