About Me

My photo

What can I say about me that isn't already online???

Monday, April 17, 2006

The Ten Commandments

Now I'll rant about the movie. I didn't miss anything with the movie. I should have, because I wouldn't have been cringing through a good chunk of it if I had.

For once, I felt like Colin and Nick M. While I was watching the movie, I was analyzing it all. Normally, I just watch movies for what they are, a movie--for the pure entertainment of it. I could not do that this time! I was criticizing everything! The beginning of the movie was OK. In fact, the first half of the movie, I only looked quizzically at the screen once, and that was because the Egyptian princess was a young widow. It's possible--I can't deny that--but I'd never heard that before. I'm no expert, so I just let it go.

Moses's entire young life as an Egyptian prince was also believable, and even as a righteous pagan, because Scripture does not talk much about his life before he killed the Egyptian. He was almost made Pharaoh himself. It was an amazing piece of history that I never knew, assuming that it is actual, and not just a Hollywoodization of Moses. The discovery of his heritage and acceptance of it was also believable. However, from this point on, I started cringing more and more. First of all, Moses caught an Egyptian striking a Hebrew, killed him, and hid his body in the sand. The movie portrayed that all right. However, the movie does not portray the next day, where he saw to Hebrews fighting, and they reveal his crime. Instead, the murder is revealed to Pharoah's son, who captures Moses and has him exiled.

Moses also does NOT easily accept his mission from the Lord. If you recall, the Lord gets angry with Moses, because he keeps making up excuses for why he shouldn't go to Egypt, and He finally tells Moses to bring his brother Aaron with him. Aaron, meanwhile was coming to find Moses. The movie portrayed Joshua as having found Moses out in the middle of nowhere, and Aaron still back in Egypt. (I was practically banging my head against the table at this point.) The miracles were fairly accurate. Aaron was the one who should have been doing the speaking, instead of Moses, although Moses was telling him what to say.

The plagues were portrayed pretty well, as was Pharaoh's stubbornness. I don't recall Pharaoh having any say in his plagues: by this, I mean that he decreed that the firstborn of the Israelites would die because of Moses, and it is this decree that God exercised on him, first. It was a very interesting portrayal. I'm not saying it's wrong: it's just interesting.

The flight from Egypt was rather odd, but I guess it gave the sense of how many Israelites followed Moses out of Egypt.

The Red Sea was very well done -- except that Pharaoh sent all of his men, chariots, and horses through the sea, but did not go himself. The Bible very expressly states that Pharaoh led the men through the Red Sea and died in it himself. !!!!!!!!!!!! But, it allowed for a resolution to Pharaoh's wife, I guess...

Moses receiving the Ten Commandments from God was good for it's time. The fire effect was cool. But Moses rolling around on the rock, in an attempt to shield his eyes was ... well, very ... um ... well ... old-fashioned? I can't think of what I want to call it. But if you've seen the scene, I think you know what I want to say about it.

The portrayal of the golden calf was actually really good. I liked the portrayal of fallen humanity -- inasmuch as one can like such portrayals.

The end of the movie was ... well, it could have been better. Moses died. Very simply. He saw the Promised Land far ahead of him before he died. God decreed that he would not live to enter into it. He did not that Moses would see it, but could not enter it because he was forbidden to do so. The only man who survived the flight from Egypt to the Promised Land was Joshua, as I'm sure you remember. There is no movie reference to the fact that Joshua was the only survivor to make it into the Promised Land, but I guess I shouldn't expect it.

In spite of a potentially sore head, I recommend this movie as a movie for purely entertainment purposes. If someone is trying to learn some basics about Moses, then this is a really good movie. For non-theology majors, the movie is less painful. But to anyone who has read Exodus (and the rest of the Pentateuch, something I'm working on), they will find this movie lacking in many ways -- unless they can turn off their part of their brain marked "be critical".
Post a Comment