Sunday, March 30, 2014

Movie Review: "Noah"

You know the story, you know how it goes, but what you really want to know is whether or not director Darren Aronofsky's big screen adaptation of Noah is any good.  Well, if it were a piece of mythological fiction, it might find some audience, but as a far from theologically sound depiction of what actually happened, Noah just doesn't quite cut it.

There were many intriguing ideas on display here, such as the look and feel of the pre-flood Earth, driving home that this is not Cecil B. Demille's vision of the Old Testament, but the film quickly comes unraveled in a lot of made up hokum.  Here's the thing, the original text is relatively short, and there is a fair amount of guesswork that Aronofsky and his crew had to do in order to realize this story, but when they start changing and adding in things that were not in the text merely to suit their artistic needs, that's when I have a problem.

Sure, the six-armed stone giants might have been cool looking, but were they necessary, or theologically accurate?  Similarly, the idea that Noah interprets God's vision to think that all of mankind's blood line should end, therefore he refuses his sons to take wives, save for one, thinking his daughter-in-law is barren, contradicts everything you read in the original Noah story.  Every few lines in the bible it says that Noah, his wife, his sons, and his sons' wives, all boarded the ark because God saw Noah as righteous, therefore him and his bloodline, his family, found favor.  They were to be fruitful and multiply.

Bottom line, is that there is still a great film about Noah and his ark out there waiting to be made, but this is not it.  While the acting is good, and the cinematography and special effects are stunning, especially all of the time lapse photography utilized to show the creation of the Earth, the film just took too many liberties and fails to be respectful to those who believe in this story.  As a well made, visually stunning film, I can appreciate the craft on display here as a fellow filmmaker, but only that.

I give Noah a D+!

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