New Year’s Day found me tired, full of cold, and in need of a probably-terrible “blockbuster” film, preferably in an actual cinema, with a tub of Ben and Jerry’s. So Exodus: Gods and Kings at my brand-new local cinema it was.
Back in the day my friends refused to sit next to me during a packed screening of Gladiator. I was in the midst of an Ancient History degree and prone to making pretentious pronouncements on historical accuracy on the big screen or in novels. I was insufferable. So I sat by myself down towards the back getting cross about whether the fibulae holding people’s clothes together were from the right time period. I’ve not really mellowed over time* but I felt that Scott had managed to do a good job of depicting the everyday lives of the lower classes, even if it wasn’t historically accurate in many other ways. But I suspect that the majority of other cinema goers in this screening were more interested in whether it was Biblical enough – there were some furious debates in the foyer afterwards where the consensus was that it seemed OK from the POV of the Scriptures but that some of the characters were a little bit OTT and had too much make up on. I agree with them there – I only just realised that Ben Mendelsohn was in it.
* I spent ages getting cross about the casting decisions even before the film was made – excellent Slate article on the ethnicity of the Ancient Egyptians here.