By Bill Nissen (Iowa)
I went to see the movie EXODUS tonight. Now, I have many friends on Facebook who are not Christians and I believe I try to be respectful to everyone. Having said that…I am a passionate follower of Jesus and have been since 1986. But I went to this movie knowing Ridley Scott is an atheist and expected it to have a humanist, naturalist perspective and I was not disappointed.
It was fascinating seeing him represent God as a little boy after Moses had a blow to the head, clearly revealing a psychological perspective of a God image driving him to go back to Egypt. His presentation of the plagues being caused naturally instead of supernaturally (for the most part) and more of an environmental domino effect is EXACTLY what I thought he’d do. There will be plenty of Christians throwing a fit about these two aspects, so I’ll let them have that platform. Though I could go there, I understand the Hollywood view of artistic license. So I will simply take a literary view.
I NOW have compassion on all the devout Hobbit/Lord of the Rings people throwing a fit because they created characters that were not even in the books. Having read and studied the book of Exodus in the Bible several times over the years, I have embraced and enjoyed the power and the magnificence of the actual story…one that has never been correctly depicted in any movie, including the Cecil B. DeMille version.
Now I am NOT waving my Bible in the air having a fit, I don’t need them to be exact on every detail (DeMille depicted the parting of the Red Sea as immediate, the Bible depicts it having taken place in the dark while Moses extended the staff “all night long”, which I believe is a beautiful view of steadfastness- but I’m cool with the DeMille version…even though it’s wrong 😉 )
But this movie has so little resemblance of the actual Exodus story that I think it is a bit irresponsible to call this the Story of Exodus in a literary sense. Call it Moses “Revisited” or something other than the real story. This story depicts Moses more as a confused man following a delusion that just so happens to come together and frees people, rather than a man of faith with an intimate relationship with his God.
Now if you want to make a delusional movie angle like that, feel free. Just don’t say it’s the story. For those who have never read the Bible, it will be very confusing. Like people who saw Lord of the Rings before they read it, some of the story lines seemed confusing, where those who read the books before they saw the movie were disappointed with how much was missing from the books.
If you are one who read the book BEFORE you saw the movie EXODUS, it will leave you very empty, if not troubled.