Starring: Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Anthony Hopkins, Ray Winstone, Emma Watson, Logan Lerman
Directed by: Darren Aronofsky
Written By: Darren Aronofsky, Ari Handel
Rating: PG-13 (US) Running Time: 2 hr 18 min
Being that the movie Noah is a modern Hollywood retelling of an ancient parable, it shouldn’t be all that shocking to discover the plethora of liberties taken with the source material. What is important however, is the message the parable delivers. The story of Noah, is a cautionary tale. A warning to the wicked that acts of greed, lust, and violence will be punished. That message still resonates in this modern retelling of the story. Along with some extra encouragement to eat less animal and look after the planet better!
To update Noah for a modern audience, some huge liberties are taken with the original text. A biblical reference to ‘giants in the Earth’ gets translated into large CGI’d rock monsters. Who apparently are fallen angels that rejected Gods will in order to help humanity. In the bible, all Noah’s sons had wives. In the movie only one did, and she wasn’t able to have children. Which is also not in the original text. This modern interpretation of the story isn’t interested in the details, but it does carry the core message as it entertains.
The photography and visual effects are first-rate, and the score by Clint Mansell does a great job of ratcheting up the drama during key moments of the story. What really shines in Noah are the performances. Russell Crowe is perfect as the stoic hero Noah, and Jennifer Connelly is superb as his wife, Naameh. Emma Watson also proves there’s more to her than a series of wizardry tales, and absolutely holds her own in scenes with much more seasoned actors.
Your enjoyment of this film is possibly going to depend on your personal faith. If you’re a devout believer in God and the Bible, there’s a chance this film will upset you. It does take a lot of liberties with the text as written in the Book of Genesis. If you’re more interested in the message, and other aspects as it pertains to the acting, effects, music and how the story is told, then Noah should entertain. It’s not especially violent, but certainly not suitable for really young children.
This is a beautifully shot film and it sounds great. I suggest a matinée showing. At home a HD showing is recommended. A laptop, tablet or smart-phone screen will not do this film justice.
Best element for me:
The performances from Russell Crowe, Emma Watson, and Jennifer Connelly.