Verdict : An unexpectedly enjoyable and astute film about love and hope.
For years, Egypt has been a safe haven for film-makers aspiring to narrate tales about ancient civilizations or mythology, and it remains so. Perhaps it is because Egypt is one of the earliest fluvial civilizations to have flourished on the face of the planet, or because Egypt is known to have one of the richest cultures ever chronicled. In all probability, it is just the biblical significance of it. Alex Proyas attempts, like many have in the past, to showcase ancient Egypt as a microcosm of the world in Gods of Egypt.
The plot of Gods of Egypt is easily forgettable. A time-worn story about Good vs Evil. Evil god Set (Gerard Butler) invades the coronation ceremony of good god, Horus (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), kills his parents, gouges out his eyes and exiles him. With the help of an Alladin-esque thief, Bek (Brenton Thwaites), Horus starts his journey, which, he initially believes is about vengeance, but eventually (and predictably) realizes is about self-discovery. A bunch of other characters, directly or indirectly, assist them in reaching the destination.There’s Zaya, (Courtney Eaton) Bek’s lady-love, Thoth, the God of Wisdom (Chadwick Boseman), Hathor, the Goddess of Love (Elodie Yung), and some others. The film ends with the good vanquishing the evil, just as you start tapping your foot impatiently (it is 128 minutes long). But don’t stifle a yawn yet!
Hackneyed and predictable as it is, there are hardly any dull moments. The lack of novelty in narrative is contrasted and even compensated for, with the clever, quick-witted dialogue. There are many light moments in the film, and the banter between Horus and Bek is delightful. Shot to be a 3D film, the film impresses with its prodigious sets and immerses you in the grandeur of it all. The film is rip-roaring and fast-paced, and more akin to an adventure drama, than a boring, mythological vignette.
The performances are brilliant and stand out. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau is endearing as a slacker with a kind heart and exhibits the charm mingled with an air of godly arrogance, effortlessly. His Horus will make you every bit as weak in the knees as does his Jamie Lannister. Brenton Thwaites matches up to him with his disarming portrayal of the irreverent, passionate and intrepid young Bek. Chadwick Boseman does a fantastic job as the vain God of Wisdom and shines through despite his very short screen-time. Elodie Yung dazzles you as Hathor. Not only does she look absolutely ethereal, but she also plays the part of the unabashed, unapologetic goddess to a T. Her character stands out as someone who devours without a hint of self-reproach and yet displays a rare kind of tenderness. Quite an inspiration for the neo feminists out there. Gerard Butler is aptly despicable as the menacing, narcissistic and resentful Set.
Gods of Egypt works wonderfully as an allegory. It juxtaposes the mortal and the divine, and tries to delve into how one is incomplete without the other. While skeptics might be tempted to dismiss it as a repository of platitudes and pipe-dreams, maybe that is exactly what we humans need?
Why You Should Watch This Movie :
Watch Gods of Egypt to witness the notions of an infallible, omnipotent God being destroyed. Watch it for the beauty and grace of Hathor. Watch it for the disarming diatribe between Horus and Bek, and the transformation of their disdain into friendship. But most of all, watch it to bring back the cynic in you, from the dark side, into the light.
— By Maitreyee Avachat