Maybe I shouldn’t have gone to see Noah during a torrential downpour, but I did and it certainly added to the night’s experience. I had heard a lot of pro’s and con’s about the movie, but I’d rather review new movies, myself. Was Noah worth the trip through the parking lot deluge? Find out after the jump.
Well, unless you’ve slept through bible class your entire childhood; everyone knows the story of Noah and his ark. The traditional and boring version goes like this: GOD creates man, man constantly makes stupid mistakes; GOD wants to start over. Who could blame HIM? GOD was still recovering from the whole apple eating incident only to be faced with a homicide. Fortunately for everyone concerned, GOD remained patient and forgiving. Cain was banished and Adam and Eve’s third son Seth took over the job of populating the world, which brings us to Noah and the flood. Three short chapters tell the story of the flood. I wanted more. Did the film give me what I wanted?
This version of Noah may be Biblically inspired, but it has action, romance, teenage angst, monsters and special effects. Directed by Darren Aronofsky, written by Ari Handel and Aronofsky and starring Russell Crowe as Noah, the film starts when young Noah witnesses his father’s death. Lamech (Marton Csokas) is murdered by Tubal Cain who takes Lamech’s land and the serpent skin belonging to the serpent from the Garden of Eden. Apparently, Cain’s descendants haven’t learned how to play nice with others or respect what The Creator has made.
Tubal Cain played wickedly by Ray Winstone destroys the land, robbing the known world of its natural resources and beauty. Sound familiar? At first Tubal Cain has the help of the Watchers, who took pity on the humans after Adam and Eve were kicked out of Eden. The Watchers are the fallen angels that were turned into living stone creatures by the now frustrated, Creator.
Life is hard for Noah, his wife Naamch (Jennifer Connelly), and his sons Shem (Douglas Booth) Ham (Logan Lerman) and Japheth (Leo McHugh Carroll). Food is scarce, but their faith is strong and they are resourceful. Noah has a disturbing dream and seeks the council of his grandfather Methuselah, who is older than dirt. Really! People lived for hundreds of years back then.
Methuselah played by Anthony Hopkins, tells Noah to follow The Creator’s orders. Noah starts to build the ark with the help of his family, the Watchers, and a young girl, Ila (Emma Watson), who was rescued by Noah. The ark is definitely not the Queen Mary, but it does have its charms and enough room for all the animals. What I didn’t expect to see, but was really glad that this scene was included, was Tubal Cain’s tribe’s mad dash to board the ark when the rain started.
Hollywood Noah is way better than the Bible version! Now before anyone gets out their holy water and labels me a heretic, let me assure you that I have a very close relationship with GOD, but, the Old Testament to me is more of a genealogical history of man.
Aronofsky took a flat story and gave it dimension by telling the story from Noah’s point of view. Just because GOD was ready to start over again, didn’t mean that Noah and his family were. I don’t think it was easy for Noah and his family to know that while they would be starting over, others would die, especially innocent children who had not sinned. The film shows this inner struggle with the whole family as Noah builds the ark. Noah wasn’t perfect and neither was his family.
Ham is jealous of the relationship between his brother Shem and the rescued girl, Ila, the only female on the ark besides his mother; Naameh argues with her husband when she feels he’s wrong; Ham and Shem fight like normal brothers. Russell Crowe did a wonderful job portraying Noah as a good man with plenty of faults who questioned his loyalty to the Creator. This family had problems so why were they picked to survive?
The scenes with the Watchers helping Noah, and the animals boarding the Ark are visually stunning. But, it’s Tubal Cain’s destruction of natural resources and his cruelty to others that makes us question if the flood and all those deaths were worth it. We haven’t learned our lesson that’s for sure, and maybe, next time, there won’t be a second chance. Go see the movie and enjoy it for what it is; good entertainment and a different slant on the story of us.