We all know the story of Noah. Flood, two by two animals, a flood, people drowning. Sound simple enough right? Wrong… like all fairy tales told to children, there’s an underlying inherent darkness that we seem to gloss over. The world was so horrible that God decided to start over by cleaning the slate with a flood.
Russell Crowe and Jennifer Connelly runite in this Darren Aronofsky film, they’ve previously worked together on A Beautiful Mind.
The good; the actors bring everything they’ve got. Aronofsky uses the Biblical epic and expands on it. In doing so, the situations are more real, as we would see them. An example is the Ark itself;
It looks real, as if someone would build it for the sole purpose of housing animals. According to the Bible, and what we’ve been told since we were young, is that the world hadn’t seen rain and there was one large land mass, so there were no need for boats. I enjoyed this take on the Ark, it’s massive and doesn’t look, well, like a boat;
There’s a flashback to the Garden of Eden where we see Adam and Eve, but they’re not naked, they’re beings of light/energy, a notion that circulates in certain schools of thought and here we are, actually seeing it on screen for the first time, instead of the whole fig leaf thing.
In that same scene we get to see the forbidden fruit, and it’s not an apple, it looks more like a heart shaped fruit. I like that take on it as well.
Then there’s this nicely done silhouette of Cain killing Abel that is a motif throughout the film, later in the film we see the silhouette change from a rock in Cain’s hand, to a sword, a spear, and then to a machine gun… I found this addition pretty darn cool.
The bad; it’s hard to disassociate the story of Noah’s Ark with that of a bedtime story, to one of such darkness and despair. But that’s how it was, and that’s how the filmmakers portrayed it. So I can see why people are having a hard time with this film, but fairy tales are dark, in Cinderella her sisters
The story story found in Genesis chapters 6-9 state that Noah is 600 years old when the flood waters start a comin’. The film could’ve done something to let us know that Noah’s older than he looks, or for that matter, everyone else is older than they look.
The time factor is a constant through out this movie, for the rain to cover the whole Earth, that would take a considerable amount of time, 40 days and 40 nights apparently, it happens with a snap of the finger. Not that I’m a stickler for it being outright Biblically accurate, but the bathtub takes a while to fill up, just sayin’.
Another thing people have a hard time with is that Noah’s sons don’t have their wives when they board the Ark, I can see why the filmmakers took liberties here, it’s to add drama.
Then there are The Watchers, these non-human creatures are mentioned in the Bible, but this is the first time we’re seeing them on screen. And it just so happens that they decided to make them rock creatures. Granted the film does explain why they look that way. But it’s a very odd choice.
I don’t think Aronofsky’s previous films lend themselves to this type of fantasy. It’s just not something I expected from him.
While the special effects are well done, I prefer the Aronofsky that’s a more simple story, with practical effects, and taking place in the present.
The scope and the heavy special effects of this film took over the personal and dramatic nature that we’re used to seeing.
Overall, I actually enjoyed this film. It must’ve been all that backlash that helped. Guess two negatives do make for a positive – math!
The people all up in an… uproar need to understand something. This isn’t a Christian film for a Christian audience, Noah was made for the public, so the target audience are those who don’t care or know the details of the story. Anytime you adapt a literary piece of work for the silver screen you have to changes things, taking liberties and… ya know, adapting it.
In the source material for the fairy tale Cinderella, the step sisters are told by their mother to cut off their toes so that they can fit the glass/leather/gold slipper. So the story of Noah has the world being in such darkness that a flood was needed to cleanse it, in that aspect I did a good job.
It’s definitely not like Requiem for a Dream,but I still saw it.
Nelson put it best, “Records from that era are spotty, at best.”