In The Beginning

  • 2000
  • 3 HR 00 MIN
  • NR
  • Drama, Religious

This episodic mini-series combs the Bible for juicy fables, with uneven results: The passages involving Abraham and Moses exude an imposing grandeur, while the section about Joseph is a hodge-podge of campy attitudes and egregiously bad acting. After God creates Adam (Sendhil Ramamurthy) and Eve (Terri Seymour) and expels them from Paradise, the film moves...read more

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Reviewed by Robert Pardi
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This episodic mini-series combs the Bible for juicy fables, with uneven results: The passages involving Abraham and Moses exude an imposing grandeur, while the section about Joseph is a hodge-podge of campy attitudes and egregiously bad acting. After God creates Adam (Sendhil Ramamurthy) and Eve (Terri Seymour) and expels them from Paradise, the film moves on to the saga of Abraham (Martin Landau) and his barren wife Sarah (Jacqueline Bisset). Although God grants Abraham's wish for a son, He tests Abraham's faith by demanding the sacrifice of that blessing. After God releases Abraham from His demand, Abraham becomes patriarch of a large tribe. The film then moves on to the tale of Rebeccah (Diana Rigg), who favored her son Jacob (Fred Weller) over his brother Esau (Andrew Grainger). In another object lesson about jealousy, we meet Jacob's brilliant descendant Joseph (Eddie Cibrian), whose envious brothers conspired to sell him into forced labor. Eventually rising from slavery to prominence as an advisor to Pharaoh, Joseph proves magnanimous and forgives his siblings' treachery. This epic concludes with the legend of the Hebrew foundling Moses (Billy Campbell), who grows up in the Pharoah's palace but learns that his true destiny lies in becoming the savior of God's chosen people. Moses warns the Pharaoh Rameses (Christopher Lee) to free the Israelites, threatening him with a series of plagues. After the plagues culminate in the death of Rameses' first-born son, Moses leads the Jews toward the Promised Land, as the Red Sea engulfs the Egyptian army. Remarkably panoramic for a TV production, this spectacular manages to be both entertaining and edifying. On the whole, sturdy work by the star-studded cast gives some real juice to these familiar tales, though Cibrian's inept performance as Joseph resigns his episode to the trash heap of silly Sunday school pageants.

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  • Released: 2000
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: This episodic mini-series combs the Bible for juicy fables, with uneven results: The passages involving Abraham and Moses exude an imposing grandeur, while the section about Joseph is a hodge-podge of campy attitudes and egregiously bad acting. After God c… (more)

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