Reviewed bylou_neuroVote: 8/10/10
I thought the exodus film was quite good, watching this being filmed Itried to put parts of the story together with very few bits missing.For me I was gripped in the story and liked the way they used modernterrorism tactics to create new plagues that were relevant to the hereand now. It was quite shocking to see the places that I had grown uploving, looking like a mass concentration camp.
I felt that they used all their good resources creating the scene ofDreamland but very little for the ending. Personally, I think I wascheated out of a good ending and I sat wondering afterwards whetherthey reached their time limits within the area or they just ran out ofmoney.
Reviewed byRResendeVote: /10
Another Orwell inspired world. This kind of film drives me a littlemad. I'm always fascinated by the pure visual possibilities ofinventing a world, where you can do nearly anything. You can recreatethe technology, you can invent how people dress, move, think. You canstructure your own social environment. How great is that? Orwellenvisioned and recreated the notion for modern audiences, but this is along tradition that is rooted for a long time in anglo-Saxon tradition.Thomas Moore may have started it. The problem is that, in order forthese worlds to function, and to make an audience, or a reader, connectto them, they have to be a very clear mirror to our own world,expressed in the simplification of its moral issues. In other words,you have to exaggerate the notions of good and evil, draw a very clearline, and place the people in the world on one side or the other. Thisone has a character literally crossing from one to the other.
Here the writers, aiming to reach a television audience, fished thestory from the Bible. Now the Exodus is an incredibly rich book, filledwith signification, but here they took the flesh and merely kept (someof) the bones. It's a merely update of the original events. OK for thekind of marketing i suspect this film was supposed to have. But notgood enough to be interesting. And it assumes as trivial a rich text,and it is also a loss for all of us whenever someone simplifies anyelement of transcendental qualities.
The problem is the immense of moralizing that is made here. So we havethe bad "natives" oppressing the poor "immigrants". Oh, but theimmigrants are also not innocent, and even the peace prophet ends upsuccumbing to the violence against which he stood. This is too much forme, i suppose there is an audience that will tolerate and applausethis, but i'm not the guy. The last (very) good film made that attemptsthe creation of a dark world, orwell based, was Children of Men. Itworked for me because, among many other qualities, it cleverly placed afar more interesting existential theme at the center of the narrative,one that exceeds the mere "good-bad" thing. This one even gets one ofthe main actresses in that film, the one who, in Children of Men wasthe pregnant woman, the immigrant who suddenly was the light for all tofollow, in a metaphorical very well written part. Here she performs asimilar role, of the woman who bridges 2 antagonic worlds, but withoutany of the interest of Children of Men.
I recognize. This world is believable, the slums are very well achievedwith (i think) not such large resources. There is a clever handling ofsets and an illusion of space. It is not City of God nor Slumdog, butit works. The humanoid sculpture is also a good piece.
My opinion: 2/5
Reviewed bybob the mooVote: /10
Twenty years ago Pharaoh Mann came to power in Margate on a wave ofanti-immigrant feeling. His wife stands by him but disagrees with himpolitically. Her heart shows through by taking in an immigrant's babythat had been abandoned calling him Moses. Now two decades laterMargate has become own-ruled and has been divided into two parts. Onepart is where the "normal" people living but the former attraction areaof dreamland has been turned into a camp for criminals, immigrants, thehomeless, the unemployed, the disabled and so on. Moses is now a man,with liberal views and a flirty way with his maid who is allowed outof Dreamland to work. When she is fired, he goes after her but a fatalscuffle with security sees Moses hiding in the camp and discovering hisbackground and destiny.
Back in 2006 I saw a documentary on Gormley's waste man sculpture thatwas made for this film to use. In that documentary I still remember therather pretentious air around those involved with it, even if thedocumentary did well to balance it with people confused and bemused byit all. It was to be just over a year before I saw the main feature onchannel 4. Unfortunately the force of creative presence that I sensedin Woolcock in that documentary is the thing that drives the film. As aresult Exodus is all too arty and creative and it undermines what I waslooking for the film to do, which was be topical, impacting andinsightful.
It is not like the topics are not there (immigration, racism, terrorism all the "isms" in fact) but they just aren't as well delivered as Iwould have wanted. Maybe it is because of how similar it feels to themuch better Children of Men (an impression made worse by the presenceof Ashitey, who appears to be trying to corner a niche genre market)but the themes just don't grip me as they did in that film althoughthey are similar Exodus just didn't make that many points consideringwhat it was doing. The fault must lie with Woolcock, who cannot bringher material together into what really should have been cutting whenviewed in respect to modern life in Britain today. As it is she seemsto have made making the film the way she did her focus rather thanthinking about the end product. The focus on process is commendable butunsuccessful. OK, so well done trying something different, using localpeople, bringing in art installations as part of the film andattempting to base your story on the bible but making it modern howeverit doesn't work. The Waste Man doesn't really fit and seems unnecessaryand for the sake of having art in there; the locals stand out a milewith "am-dram" delivery and so on.
The cast are not all this way though. Percival is solid while Hill atleast adds value thanks to the way he hams it up like it is his lastact on earth. Ashitey is the only one that convinces in her fieryperformance and more could have been made of her confrontation ofMoses' terrorist acts. Below them things aren't great although this wasthe risk of the creative process.
Overall then this is a flawed film that disappoints in the delivery asmuch as it attracts attention in the process. Credit to Woolcock forthe way she has made this film and what she has tried to do but it allcounts for naught in a script that fails to do anything of realsignificance with the many themes in rams into its biblical retelling.I wanted to like it but I'm afraid my advice would be to leave this andwatch Children of Men because it is worth more of your time. If youhave already seen it, then I would suggest leaving Exodus anyway oryou'll forever be comparing the two.
Set in the near future. Pharoah Mann, a right wing politician is elected into power. He clears the streets of all people that are considered a blight on society, such as petty criminals, alcoholics, tramps, drug addicts, asylum seekers and refugees and puts them all into a ghetto where unless they have a work permit they cannot leave. When Moses the son of Pharoah finds he is not actually the privileged son of a politician but the son of a refugee who was put into the ghetto 20 years previously, he begins a war with his father in order to free the people of the ghetto.