‘Noah’ Movie Review – Asking the Tough Questions
Even before seeing Darren Aronofsky’s version of Noah, it was pretty obvious the film would divide audiences. For some reason people get all up in arms over every little detail – minute or not, necessary or not – when it comes to the Bible. However, it is exactly this reason (that it is taken from the Bible) that helps Noah’s case. As always, an analysis follows.
Just like the title implies, the film is about Noah and, more specifically, the building of his Ark before God rains down (literally) terror meant to essentially wipe out the human race. Noah (played by Russell Crowe) has a vision from his Creator, which ultimately turns into one huge interpretation.
Not only has God “told” Noah to build a giant Ark to harbor all the animals to allow for repopulation, but he’s given him the opportunity to choose what to do with the human race. In the end, it comes down to a simple question: is the human race inherently good? If humans are flawed, should they be allowed repopulate? This hefty burden ends up on Noah’s back.
Now, here’s where the story coming from the Bible is precisely what makes it work. Take virtually any superhero or sci-fi film, and it usually boils down to an oversimplified concept. Someone is trying to destroy the world and somebody else has to save it. In Noah, this idea is again implored; however, for once the stakes actually make sense. You don’t have to be religious to understand or appreciate what is going on.
These ideas – morality, sacrifice, human nature, and so on – are too important to pass up just because the source material is inherently controversial. In fact, this film could be an example of why movie studios are afraid to push the envelope. If this film tries but doesn’t succeed (something I’d hate to see from a director like Aronofsky), it’ll be the example of why we need to play it safe.
Safe would be a by-the-book adaptation. Yes, there are flaws with this idea since there are considerable gaps in the Bible pertaining to Noah’s Ark. Safe would also be a lot less gritty and more family-friendly.
Thank God Darren Aronofsky isn’t safe.
Do yourself a favor and put the religious aspect of the story on the backburner. Take it as fiction or not – it doesn’t really matter. Darren Aronofsky is one of the best directors working today because he understands how to tell a story. In the case of his newest film, Noah, he chose to tell his interpretation of an event that literally (depending on how you look at it) shaped human life for the rest of eternity. Without using Noah’s story, this wouldn’t exist and vice versa. In a time where Hollywood is blasted for being mindless, Noah should stand tall as a great exception.
Noah is out in wide release now. Check your local listings for showtimes.
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