Moses for a TV Audience
When Pharaoh orders the murder of all newborn males due to a prophecy from one of his oracles a baby boy by the name of Moses is placed in a basket on the Nile where sometime later he is discovered in the reeds by the daughter of the Pharaoh himself. Raised in the royal household Moses grows up torn over who he is until one day he is told exactly who he is. Many years later and having left the Royal household after killing a man for abusing a slave Moses receives a message from God at a burning bush causing him to embark on a mission to lead the Hebrew people to freedom.
Let me tell you something about myself, from a young age till when I got my first full time job in my late teens I attended church, I was taught the stories of the bible and the deeper messages and so on. It is a long time since I got my first full time job and whilst I remember some of what I learned in church there is plenty which I have forgotten. Why do I tell you this? Well because I believe that this 2006 version of "The Ten Commandments" is made for people like me, who know the basis of the story of Moses but have forgotten elements of it and so it makes for an entertaining reminder using modern CGI to create scenes which Cecil B. DeMille couldn't deliver in the classic 1956 version of "The Ten Commandments".
So that leads me to who this 2006 version of "The Ten Commandments" is not for and firstly it isn't for movie buffs who have watched DeMille's epic movie starring Charlton Heston or the more recent "Exodus: Gods and Kings" staring Christian Bale. That shouldn't be a surprise as whilst hitting the epic 167 minutes mark this is a made for TV production, a mini-series and so whilst an impressive production is not as impressive as those big screen versions. Ironically it lacks that sense of scale despite being a big production and at times feels passionless as if the actors are going through the motions which in turn makes it dry.
But I am not finished there as unfortunately "The Ten Commandments" is not for those who are students of the Bible, who know the story of Moses inside out as whilst my memory of the story has become blurred there were elements I know were not part of the Bible story. But this brings me back to this version of "The Ten Commandments" feeling less a piece of Christian cinema and more a general piece of entertainment which it works for those like me who know the story but seek more entertainment yet having that easy to digest aspect of a made for TV production.
What this all boils down to is that this 2006 version of "The Ten Commandments" will work for a certain audience, those familiar with the story of Moses but having forgotten aspects of it and are not looking for all the bells and whistles of a big budget production. Yet even if does entertain it is still flawed and comes across as exactly what it is, an average made for TV mini-series based on a Bible story and that means at times it lacks heart and soul.