First of all, the movie is not too religious. And also, it’s not too preachy – no preachy tone whatsoever about being religious, praying to your gods or becoming holy. But yes, it is indeed violent and grotesque for the ordinary viewers. And it’s definitely not for children (though it’s impossible to monitor your child’s online activities considering the fact that it’s easy to watch free movies online).
The movie is focused on the escape of the Israelite slaves from Egypt, thus the title Exodus. Why add “Gods and Kings” in the title? Perhaps to remind us about old societies worshiping many gods and kings. Or probably to not focus on Christianity alone, having only one God, since the story is too Christian.
It is also interesting to notice that the pharaoh, Ramses, isn’t really an outstanding villain after all. It’s true that the Israelites suffered too much under the leadership of Ramses (as depicted in the movie) however, the film also shows his soft side – his love for his wife and son. He’s actually shown as a weak character who still longs for his father’s love. He can’t decide on his own. Like other men, he lets his mother decide things for him. He wants the comfort of a bosom that expects nothing from him. He is the most irrational character in the movie.
Moshe or Moses, being the central character, is portrayed as an ordinary person who gets married, plays with his kids, and tries to do what’s right and wrong in the eyes of the society. What makes Moses from the Exodus movie different from the Moses in the bible is that he’s not a saintly hero. He is a hero for helping the slaves escape from Egypt but he is not a saint. He doesn’t really pray like most saints pray. He’s simply talking to God, sometimes arguing against Him.
The most interesting character in the movie is the boy who acts as God. In his first appearances, we see him more as a messenger than God. In the old testament, God is viewed as a punisher. The Great Flood might be a myth or based on real biblical events but the antagonist and protagonist in the story point directly to the same character – God. In the movie, God is again portrayed as both an antagonist and protagonist. The boy has a tendency to act childish- having tantrums and mood swings. He’s irrational and emotional. He easily gets angry and his reactions are predictable yet surprising.
The scenes related to the plagues of Egypt are grotesquely violent- the hungry crocodiles devouring humans and fishes, rivers filled with blood and huge frogs and flies. They are highly emphasized in the film merely to show God’s wrath. Also, another interesting thing about the film is that it attempts to provide scientific explanation and proofs about the plagues and why they occurred. That is why some religious groups condemned the movie and labeled it as a science fiction movie.
The movie didn’t really deviate from the original bible story – the sequence of events, the characters, and the plagues. But to confirm if it’s “biblically accurate” is another story. The director, Ridley Scott, is even accused as a racist, deliberately whitewashing the movie. Well, the truth is, I’m not so oversensitive about it. I love the action scenes. And to be fair, Christian Bale’s acting is captivating, making you forget he was once the dark knight.