Saturday, March 29, 2014

Sean Kelly

My Thoughts on Noah

NoahFrom director Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan) comes this epic, based on the biblical story of Noah’s Ark. Noah (Russell Crowe) is a descendant of Seth, the third son of Adam and Eve, who lives a simple life with his family, while the descendants of Cain, lead by Tubal-Cain (Ray Winstone) sends the world into ruin.  One night, Noah receives a vision that a great storm is going to bring about the end of the world.  After seeking the advice of his grandfather Methuselah (Anthony Hopkins), Noah sets out to build a giant arc to save two of every animal on the planet.  Many years later, as the great storm nears and Tubal-Cain and his forces prepare to storm the ark, Noah begins to realize that humanity must not survive.  This leads to him having to make some difficult decisions aboard the ark.

It obvious quite early on that Noah isn’t really meant to be direct retelling of the original story, which most people are likely to be familiar with, even if they aren’t particularly religious.  The film is a quite dark and gritty depiction of the story, though it also features some fantastical elements.  Probably the most fantastical, and unexpected, element of the film are Watchers, fallen angels in the form of monstrous stone golems.  The Watchers play a major role in the first half of the film, including doing most of the ark building, and they almost make the action feel a bit like The Lord of the Rings.

Much of the film tackles with the guilt Noah has to bear for being the man that has let all of humanity die.  Many of Noah’s other family members, including his wife Naameh (Jennifer Connelly), oldest son Shem (Douglas Booth), daughter-in-law Ila (Emma Watson), and middle son Ham (Logan Lerman), all believe that Noah could have saved a few people, which adds to his overall burden.  When a situation arises, in which Noah is forced to make a very tough decision, he risks alienating himself from those he loves, all so he could fallow the wishes of the Creator.

It is hard to tell who exactly Darren Aronofsky was making Noah for.  The film takes some liberties with the biblical story and is not likely to be too well received by devoutly religious viewers.  However, the film is also religious enough, including an entire aside involving the creation story, that the more secular viewers might also be turned off.  One thing that’s for sure is that Noah is very much a Darren Aronofsky film, even though it was made with a blockbuster-level budget.  Probably the closest film of Aronofsky’s Noah can be compared to is The Fountain, even though they are ultimately two completely different films.  I also have to say that I was somewhat impressed with some of the cinematography in the film, particularly scenes that made use of silhouettes.

Even though Noah isn’t a direct telling of the biblical story, I still believe it captured the overall essence.  That said, with a running time of 138 minutes, the story felt unnecessarily stretched out.  This is most notable in the second half of the film, which involves just Noah and his family on the ark.  However, even though the film is a bit on the long and slow side, I still thought that it overall decent enough.

7 | FAIR 

Sean Kelly

About Sean Kelly -

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described ├╝ber-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).