STARRING: Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Douglas Booth, Emma Watson, Logan Lerman, Ray Winstone and Anthony Hopkins
A man is chosen by his world’s creator to undertake a momentous mission before an apocalyptic flood cleanses the world.
Darren Aronofsky begins telling us his vision of the Noah tale with the opening scene retelling of the Book of Genesis, with The Creator (The chosen name referring to God in this film, which angered a few groups) creating the world, then telling us the story of Adam and Eve and their three sons. Also mentioned here and something that comes up later in the film are The Watchers, fallen angels that help build civilisation.
Then we come upon Noah’s timeline, we have a brief story of his childhood before coming up to the present timeline of Crowe as Noah, upon which he has a vision of this great flood covering the earth and believes that this is a message from The Creator warning him of what’s to come and believes that he has a chance to act and after some thinking he decides he has to build an ark.
One of the main positives to come out from this film is the cinematography, the shots with the landscape, in particular at night, is just beautiful to see. Russell Crowe is Russell Crowe, he commands the screen every time he is on and keeps you invested in his character, even though you might be lost or have given up on the overall story.
Why would somebody give up on the story during this film? Various reasons. One would be that some people will be very annoyed at the creative liberties that Aronofsky takes in telling the film from the original source material, think of the way certain groups are annoyed that God is only referred to as The Creator, times that by ten in order of annoyance that Noah the film does not follow the original source material. One reason that circled in the mainstream was of the issue of ‘Where are people of different races in Noah? Why is it whitewash?’ which of course the Co-Screenwriter answered in a not so well rounded off way here. Another reason? The Watchers are giant rock monsters (I repeat, giant Rock Monsters) that are in full Transformers like voiceover tone. I’m one of those that was like ‘Giant rock monsters as fallen angels? It’s a stretch, different, but I’ll roll with it’ while others are like ‘Nope, I’m out’.
I will give props for Aronofsky for giving us this ambitious take on a story from the Bible, though as a film there are certain issues with it, such as the multiple jumps in the timeline from the first act, from Noah’s childhood, to the vision of having to make an ark, then jumping another eight years to the ark’s completion all in the space of twenty minutes or less. Once a battle sequence takes place does it really picked up for me as by the final act you see Noah’s loyalty to The Creator’s message descend him into madness of how far he would go to save the world for a new beginning. Sure Jennifer Connelly has at least one moment to shine as Noah’s wife Naameh, Emma Watson does well as Ila, particularly in the final act of the story, Logan Lerman does well as the conflicted son of Noah, Ham, and also I wasn’t distracted by Ray Winstone as Tubal-Cain, mainly because he wasn’t your typical Winstone like character.
A weird experimental take on the Noah story, some will just go with the creative liberties that Aronofsky takes while others will be annoyed that he doesn’t follow through with the original source. Film lags towards the end of the film hour but then picks up once the battle/flood scene starts. 6/10