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Tear Jerker / The Prince of Egypt

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  • Every brotherly moment that Moses and Rameses share becomes a "Funny Aneurysm" Moment upon a second-viewing.
    • Especially this scene when Moses tries to cheer up his brother about being the weak link:
      Ramses: Irresponsible, ignorant of the traditions, he practically accused me of bringing down the dynasty!
      Moses: (joking) I can see it now. There go the pyramids!
      Ramses: You can laugh about it!
      Moses: Statues cracking and toppling over. The Nile drying up. Single-handedly, you will manage to bring the greatest kingdom on Earth to ruin.
  • Rameses as he tries to appeal to Moses to stay with him. You can't help but feel sorry for him as he tries virtually everything to keep his brother from leaving Egypt, down to the sadness in his face when Moses does leave.
    Moses: Goodbye, brother. (he turns and runs away)
    Ramses: Moses! MOSES!
    • In fact, everyone in Moses' adopted family when he finds out where he came from. They are being completely sincere in their love for him, but the things they say to reassure him just drive him further away.
    • This part of the movie is devastating on Moses' end also. In literally less than 24 hours, he lost everything because he was unwilling to live a lie. The only thing he had left from his old life was the ring Rameses gave him, which represents their relationship (which makes it all the more sad when he has to give that up years later).
  • The short scene with Moses and Rameses after the final plague, with the latter cradling his dead son's head, giving up (even momentarily) in despair.
    Rameses: You... and your people... have my permission to go.
    (Moses approaches, and puts a hand on Ramses' shoulder)
    Rameses: (recoiling sharply) Leave me!
  • "Deliver Us", especially the part Ofra Haza sang before the second chorus. This is even exaggerated by the Cantonese lyrics translated here:
    My son, even I'm your mother, I have nothing to give
    but just a glimmer of hope, that you may be on borrowed time
    • Hell, even the English lyrics are incredibly tearjerking:
      My son, I have nothing left to give
      But this chance that you may live, I'll pray we'll meet again
    • More heartbreaking in the fact that Yocheved never does meet her son again: she dies long before Moses comes back. Worse, had she been alive when he came back, she would've seen a haughty prince instead, who would have thought her as nothing more than a foolish, deranged old woman who had the audacity to think herself his mother.
    Sleep and remember my last lullaby so I'll be with you when you dream.
  • When Moses gives Rameses' ring back. It's the moment Rameses realizes that nothing can be the same between them again. The worst is how his face changes. From the deep sadness of a man who lost his brother, into the merciless, cold look of the Pharaoh.
    • Rameses wears the ring after that point, even during his last scene. Assuming he keeps wearing it, it will forever be a reminder of everything he has lost.
  • "Why can't things be the way they were before?"
  • After Rameses rejects Moses one final time ("And a great cry shall be heard in Egypt..."), Rameses' son looks at Moses, terrified. Moses looks back, and his expression makes it clear that he knows it's the last time he'll ever see his nephew alive. Made even worse—Rameses' son is standing just below all the Hebrew babies, sent to drown, engraved on the wall. Made even worse if you think about how Moses went to talk to his brother and basically begged him to do what God wanted so nothing worse would happen (probably aware of what the last plague would be) and how he tried to stop Rameses from saying "And a great cry shall be heard in Egypt" (because in the end, there WAS a great cry and those words would haunt Rameses forever). Seeing Moses trying to stop his brother from saying this is awful, plus how he looks at his nephew, knowing there is nothing he can do now.
    Moses: Something else is coming, something much worse than anything before! Please, let go of your contempt for life before it destroys everything you hold dear! Think of your son!
    Rameses: I do. You Hebrews have been nothing but trouble. My father had the right idea about how to deal with your people.
    Moses: Rameses!
    Rameses: And it's time I finished the job!
    Moses: Rameses!
    Rameses: And there shall be a great cry in all of Egypt, such as never has been or ever will be again!
    Moses: ... Rameses, you bring this upon yourself.
    • The worst part of this is, Moses knows that Rameses is about to cross the point of no return. He's giving his brother a Last-Second Chance, and when Rameses says that sentence, there can be no more chances. Moses meant it when he said Rameses has brought this on himself.
    • It's easy to miss, but Rameses says "my father", not "our father". Does he even think of Moses as a brother anymore?
  • That brief moment of focus on Aaron and Miriam when the slavedriver Moses is about to kill first starts beating the old man. Miriam points the cruelty out to her brother, and he immediately turns away to work as intently as possible, with a terrified look on his face. And Aaron in general before the plagues. He's a man who has had his faith trampled into the dust, leaving only fear and bitterness. Listen to his voice when Miriam is about to charge at the guard. He's clearly begging her to not do anything to get herself killed.
  • When Moses inadvertently ends up near the house of Miriam and Aaron. The joy on Miriam's face as she is finally reunited with her brother dissolves into pure heartbreak when she realizes that he thinks of them as just another pair of slaves, especially when he raises his hand to strike her for her 'impudence'. Watch Aaron in the background during this scene. Near the end, just before Moses grabs Miriam's wrist, you can see Aaron shutting his eyes, bowing his head, and turning away. He doesn't want to watch because he knows his sister will probably be beaten.
  • The song "The Plagues" is epic as it is, but when you listen to the lyrics, it doubles as a heartbreaker, with Moses practically begging Ramses to free the slaves in order to stop the chaos.
    • Furthermore, this scene shows that Moses is just as emotionally tortured by the plagues as Ramses. After all, Egypt is his home... Well, was his home...
      "This was my home
      All this pain and devastation
      How it tortures me inside
      All the innocent who suffer
      From your stubbornness and pride."
    • While by this point Rameses is definitely in the wrong, he sings a short verse which has a quite sad passage.
      "You who I called brother
      And never mind how high the cost may grow.
      This will still be so.
      I will never let your people go!"
    • Even before that, Moses has a verse that makes it quite clear how conflicted he still is at essentially having to betray his brother.
      Once I called you brother
      Once I thought the chance to make you laugh
      was all I ever wanted...
      And even now I wish that God had chose another
      Serving as your foe on his behalf
      is the last thing that I wanted...
    • Even though this is a story about the freeing of the Hebrews from captivity, the Plague scene doesn't shy away from the sheer devastation this had on Egyptians. Most poignant are the shots of children, possibly no older than Rameses' own son and the fear in their eyes as their world crumbles, their parents unable to comfort them.
    • A small but easily missed scene during the chorus shows some Egyptians digging in the dirt for food. If you look closely, the ones in the back are desperately shoving anything resembling food into their mouths. The plagues have starved them to the point that they will eat anything. Moreso if you look at their clothes. They resemble the handmaidens within the royal court, meaning even the elite have been reduced to this.
  • The aftermath of the Red Sea Crossing. First there's the moment before the Hebrews' rejoicing that they've finally managed to escape, there's an air of stunned shock and horror at the thought of how many men drowned when the seas closed...and then there's the moment when Moses looks back towards the distant shore, where Rameses is screaming his name, in an echo of when he left the first time. He sighs, mutters 'Goodbye, brother,' and leaves without looking back. Again.
  • "The Queen's Reprise" of "All I Ever Wanted". So much love packed into so few lines. Contrasted with Moses' confusion and desperation, and with our knowledge of what's coming up, it's heartbreaking.
    When the gods send you a blessing, you don't ask why it was sent.
    • It's quite clear that Moses is closer to their mother (while Rameses is trying to gain his father's approval), yet we never see her again after this scene. It makes you wonder what she was feeling after he never returned.
  • Moses's nightmare involving him witnessing the Pharaoh sending soldiers to slaughter thousands of Hebrew babies, and after the Catapult Nightmare, Moses sees the carvings on the wall and realizes to his horror it's all true.
    • Moses sees the story of his real family, trying to sneak away from the guards and sees how his mother had no other choice than to leave his life to the river's course and God's mercy. We already saw this in the beginning, but Moses can see it now.
    • The subtle animation and Patrick Stewart's voice makes it clear that Seti is haunted by the fact he ordered the mass murder of innocent children and while trying to justify it knows no excuse is good enough.
      Seti: Moses, sometimes, for the greater good, sacrifices must be made.
    • His next line brings it into Nightmare Fuel territory though, with the hint that the sacrifice he's referring to may not be the actual deaths, but that he had to give the command to do it.
    • Seti clearly prioritizes the emotional well-being of his son during this entire encounter. He knows that regardless of how the act is viewed historically, it's upsetting and horrible to hear about. He understands that Moses is horrified, even if he doesn't fully understand why. Seti really is trying to be a good father, the entire scene. If only he hadn't chosen the worst possible thing to say to comfort Moses.
    • Seti is hugging Moses in the mural room after revealing why he killed the Hebrew firstborn. Moses starts to calm down and think that everything might turn out okay after all. Then Seti whispers "They were only slaves" and Moses backs up with a look of shock and dismay on his face.
    • All of the above is in this clip.
      • Not to mention that in the above scene, Seti's lip trembles slightly when he says that sacrifices must be made. He might have been sure of his actions once, sure in ordering the death of countless infants to protect his family. But, for a moment, he's an old, tired man and he knows in his heart that he can't justify what he did, and the reality came crashing down on him. The sentiment didn't last long, as mentioned above, but it was still a nice little subtle show of emotion that showed Seti was a man. Not a god, not the morning and evening stars, but a man.
  • Similarly, Rameses. It's evident from the very start that he's not simply an evil overlord, cackling with delight at the suffering he inflicts. He's a man. He truly loves Moses as a brother, before conflict rips them apart. He genuinely loves his son. Even all his cruelty and intransigence regarding the freedom of the Hebrews is shown not in the light of this being a simple case of Even Evil Has Loved Ones, but because he is personally being driven by a love of his country and the tragic desire to be the king his father wanted him to be. He's not a monster or a devil, he's a man doing what he genuinely believes to be right for his people.
  • In a Meta example, the deaths of Ofra Haza and Whitney Houston make it harder to listen to the film's soundtrack without choking up a little.
  • Ramses' ultimate fate: his kingdom is in ruin, his beloved son is dead and so are all of his soldiers. He's ultimately left alone with apparently no one to help him. While at that point he might have lost some sympathy by ordering all the Hebrews, Moses included, to be killed, you can't help to feel sorry for him especially considering that he lost everything he had.
  • How Miriam convinces Moses that he is her brother. She sings Yocheved's last lullaby, her voice nearly breaking with the weight of her conviction, love, and sorrow. In the span of 20 seconds, Miriam unmakes Moses' Egyptian identity, proving to him that her tear-stricken face is too familiar, too similar to the first face he ever saw...
  • The scene at the construction site. After learning about his true lineage, Moses is looking on in horror and despair of seeing thousand of his people being forced to work on building the temple. He sees one slave up close who looks so downtrodden over the years of labor he’s been forced to do. The straw that breaks the camel’s back for Moses is him seeing an old slave being whipped over and over again, prompting him to charge at the slave driver and demand that he leave the man alone.


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