Movie adaptations, for book lovers at least, simultaneously bring feelings of excitement and fear. Will the movie stay true to the book? Will it project off of the screen as it did when the words entered the mind?
The Oscar-winning 1991 road trip buddy film directed by Ridley Scott and written by Callie Khouri was groundbreaking. Not only did its two empowered female characters strike a worldwide nerve, the movie also helped set the bar higher for female roles.
Selma delivers the Exodus that history keeps writing. Black Lives Matter in the 1960s and today. And like an arrow into Pharaoh's heart, the film asks with MLK in that Selma speech, when will "the conscience of America begin to bleed" again?
Ridley Scott is no Cecil B. DeMille. That's not necessarily a bad thing. What it means is that Scott's new epic Exodus: Gods and Kings is as much a product of our high-tech new-millennium era as The Ten Commandments was of the Eisenhower gray-flannel suit period.
I walked out after the parting of the Red Sea, which was depicted more as if an iffy forecast by Tom Skilling missed a low pressure system forming over Lake Michigan, than God majestically parting it to let his people go.
Never have I seen a movie so profoundly, completely and utterly misunderstand the point of its own story as Exodus: Gods and Kings did. In fact, it's so off that I can't help but wonder if maybe the film has a different agenda than I thought it did.
Usually when a film depicting a story from the Bible is made, the main danger for a studio is angering religious groups who feel that the film is attacking their beliefs or strays too far from accepted (or at least favored) interpretations.