Dioramas in Film – Exodus: Gods and Kings

Released in 2014, director Ridley Scott’s biblical epic Exodus: Gods and Kings features Christian Bale as Moses and Joel Edgerton as Rameses. The film retells the story of Moses with the aid of state of the art visual effects that enhance the film without overpowering it. 

Following the death of his father, Rameses tightens his grip on Egypt. His chief ambition is the construction of a new city to honour himself as King. This new city is sketched out in three dimensions as a large tabletop diorama that appears in several scenes. The diorama consists of buildings carved out of wood and accentuated with miniature stone elements representing statues. The lavish materials selected for this work distinguish it from standard plywood and cardboard architectural models. 

As a representation of the city being built in his honour, the diorama symbolizes the despotic mindset of Rameses. Under his orders, the slaves labouring to build the city are horribly mistreated, driving many of them to an early grave. Rameses shows no mercy, and his ruthlessness drives the story towards its climax. 

 

Exodus: Gods and Kings differentiates itself from earlier biblical films by delving more deeply into the personal lives of the characters. Christian Bale’s Moses is an especially well detailed character, made more realistic by his weaknesses. We’re afforded a close look into his personal trials and tribulations as he undertakes his hero’s journey. 

Merry Christmas and best wishes for the holiday season from Creative Dioramas. See you in the New Year.

-Ivar