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A religious movie without controversy is like a hockey game without a penalty. It’s technically possible, but it very rarely happens. Earlier this year, there was a whole lot of noise surrounding Noah thanks to how the Old Testament character was depicted, and now, we’re getting the same activity surrounding Exodus: Gods And Kings thanks to Christian Bale telling the world he thinks Moses had mental problems.
There is a fair amount of debate among Christians as to how literally to take the events in the Old Testament, but even given that wiggle room, Christian Bale came in really hot with his Moses-related comments when he attacked the prophet’s personality and mental state during a recent press event in Los Angeles. Here’s a portion of the quote, courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter…
"I think the man was likely schizophrenic and was one of the most barbaric individuals that I ever read about in my life."
Making a religious movie is always a difficult proposition. Most of the Biblical stories are not in-depth enough to do exact translations. As such, dialogue needs to be created and events need to be added. Given how much importance and hope is placed in these texts, an overwhelming majority of people have their own interpretations and ways of looking at the stories. That makes changing and altering them an extremely difficult process, filled with tons of second guessing and even worse, claims of blasphemy.
What’s unclear at this point is how much of Christian Bale’s read on the character will actually translate in his performance. He can think whatever he wants about Moses, but if his alleged Schizophrenia doesn’t come across in the character, then it really doesn’t matter. Intentions really aren’t important in this equation. What matters is the end result. Christian Bale is just the conduit to tell the story that’s Ridley Scott’s ultimate vision.
Does this look like the face of Schizophrenia to you?
Expect for this entire controversy to kick into overdrive once people have actually seen the movie. After that, an entire world of potential landmills will suddenly be on full display for Biblical critics to point at and yell about. Oh joy.