In a corrupt world in decline, a vision from The Creator leads one man on a mission to save all creatures and cleanse the world.
Director: Darren Aronofsky
Staring: Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Ray Winstone, Emma Watson, Logan Lerman & Anthony Hopkins
Run Time: 138 Minutes
Release Date: Available Now
The pre-release stories are well-known; various cuts and versions were demanded by the studio, religious groups wanted the ‘right’ story told, a director steadfastly refusing to back down from his vision. Darren Aronofsky certainly has pedigree, striking gold with a varied CV; Requiem for a Dream, The Wrestler, Black Swan. All found success, but going from pro wrestling to ballet to the bible? That takes balls. But Aronofsky stood firm and did the film he wanted. And while the film he wanted won’t please everyone, it contains enough to please the regular moviegoer.
Noah’s ark was impressive. Although not of the classic boat design, it resembled a formidable wooden fortress. The movie could have easily dragged showing the monotonous task of growing a forest, harvesting it’s wood and building the Ark, however Aronofsky gave us just the right amount. The forest created from a seed of Eden grew in minutes, the wood was stripped by the Watchers, whilst Noah chopped away with the help of his family. Watching the enormous refuge take shape was thankfully not boring viewing, it was fascinating.
Noah tries to do his duty by finding wives for his sons, but upon witnessing cannibalism in Tubal-Cain’s camp he decides all human’s must be eradicated. This leads to a heart-wrenching decision when, after being cured of barrenness by Methuselah (another sterling Anthony Hopkins performance), Ila falls pregnant with Shem’s offspring. Noah’s focus tears the family apart as he insists if the baby is a girl, he will murder her in order to end the human race. It can make the viewer resent him and dislike the Noah character, however he redeems himself when, after giving birth to twins, Ila tries to protect her children and when cornered by Noah who poises ready to kill, he looks at his granddaughters and sees only love and good and spares their lives.
Although Russell Crowe is a good all-round actor, his portrayal of Noah was not always as believable as he should have been as he seemed unable to fully express the variety of emotions his character was experiencing. Flashbacks were used multiple times but were not overplayed. Also, if you have a fear of snakes, it does mean you will have to look away more than a few times!
An age-old question when the story of Noah is discussed is “how did the animals come two by two without eating each other?”. One explanation that was given in this film was that the family walked among the animals and sent them to sleep with incense. It appeared Noah also built his Ark with separate compartments for each animal type. A great deal of thought went into explaining each of the century-old questions, such as “how do you fit two of every animal in a boat?” and “how did the animals know to where and when to go to Noah?”.