Ten Commandments` - of Moses, God and bad animation (IANS Film Review)
This might be too late to review a project that hit the screens two years ago in
the West - and is making it only now to the Indian celluloid space.
Released in October 2007, "The Ten Commandments" is just another of
the numerous Hollywood attempts at Biblical stories. The film was already out on
DVD in February 2008.
Having opened to poor reactions in the West, the film had been long forgotten.
It is now back with some non-appealing computer graphics imagery and Biblical
interpretations from previous movies, which it juxtaposes in a carefree manner.
Sequences like the beginning that shows crocodiles snapping at baby Moses`
basket when he is set adrift in the river by his mother, to the opening credits
that use hieroglyphs to highlight the growing enmity between Moses and Rameses,
remind one of similar scenes from DreamWorks 1998 animation venture "The
Prince of Egypt".
The scene where the Pharaoh is scolding his sons and singling out Rameses as his
heir seems like a bad pick from the 1998 movie.
"The Ten Commandments" also borrows from Cecil B. DeMille`s 1956
classic with the same name by casting Dathan, a minor biblical figure among the
Hebrews who sparked their doubts and complaints against Moses.
However, where the 88-minute film does manage to make a difference is by telling
more about and after the Exodus by sticking closer to the biblical narrative
vis-୶is the earlier films.
It shows the wandering and grumbling of the Hebrews in the wilderness on their
way to the land of milk and honey, episodes like water from the rock, rain of
manna (bread) and quail (meat), the giving of the law to Moses on Sinai by God
(the 10 commandments), the golden calf (the false god), an extremely downplayed
version of Aaron and Miriam`s rebellion and the ark and the tabernacle, to name
The story also talks about Moses` death in the end with the Hebrews` entry into
the Promised Land under Joshua (the new general).
In terms of voiceovers, Gould`s rendition of God lacks warmth and softness.
Slater`s Moses misses out on command and authority while addressing his people.
But Molina and Kingsley have done a perfect job in the characters of Rameses and
the narrator respectively.
But what puts you off till the end is the disappointing clay-model like