We Saw: Noah (2014)

Noah-posterDirector: Darren Aronofsky

Writers: Darren Aronofsky, Ari Handel

Genre: Action/Drama

Plot: A man is chosen by his world’s creator to undertake a momentous mission to rescue the innocent before an apocalyptic flood cleanses the wicked from the world.

Cast: Russell Crowe as Noah

Jennifer Connelly as Naameh

Ray Winstone as Tubal-cain

Anthony Hopkins as Methuselah

Review:

‘Noah’ is definitely one of the strangest movies that came out this year. Not only is it controversial (the movie is banned in several countries and it spawned countless internet arguments between Christians and atheists), but it also feels like a weird step in the, otherwise very successful, career of Darren Aronofsky. Apparently, Aronofsky, in spite of being an atheist, has had a fascination with the biblical character of Noah since childhood and really wanted to do this movie. Ironically, his dream project turned out to be his weakest movie yet, and overall a very uneven experience.

noah1.pgWhen Adam and Eve were cast out of Eden, they had three sons – Cain, Abel and Seth. One day Cain slew his brother Abel and fled from his parents and God  (who is referred only as The Creator) to some land where he started having children and being the father of people. However, unlike the people who were born in the line of Seth, people who were born in the line of Cain were mostly evil and corrupt. Noah (Russell Crowe) is one of the descendants of Seth and he starts having visions of a great flood that will purify the Earth. He soon realizes he is receiving messaged from the Creator that tell him to construct a giant ark in which he’ll put two of every animal species in the world and sail until the flood withdraws, so he could start the human civilization anew.

noah2‘Noah’s’ story has many aspects to it; aspects that seem quite disconnected from each other and should be analyzed separately. First, there is the biblical aspect of the story, which was done alright – it was nice to see this biblical tale on a big budget, grand scale, accompanied by an A-list cast (of which Jennifer Connelly stands out the most as Noah’s wife Naameh, and, absurdly, Russell Crowe stands out the least as the titular character – throughout the whole movie he had the same facial expression) and a clearly talented director (the movie is absolutely beautiful, with wonderful shots and interesting visuals).

noah3Then there is the ‘realistic’ aspect of the story, which was the most interesting one. The character of Noah is portrayed as a troubled figure, who is disturbed by the choices he has to make. His family is no different – all of the members have their own separate problems they have to deal with. This realistic/dramatic/human aspect somewhat differs from the biblical tale, but was nonetheless the most fascinating thing about the movie. This aspect was pleasantly utilized through the movie’s more or less talented cast – the exceptions were Russell Crowe, whom I mentioned before, and Douglas Booth, who was quite forgettable as Noah’s son Shem.

noah4And the last aspect of ‘Noah’ that should be commented was its ‘fantasy’ aspect, which was horrible and almost destroyed the whole movie. Inputting completely made up elements in the movie, like stone giants (yes, stone giants) and magic stones not only underwhelms the movie’s ‘dramatic’ aspect, but also wrecks its source material. Add to that the ridiculous comic-book style rivalry between Noah and the movie’s villain Tubal-cain (Ray Winstone) and the occasionally clingy CGI, and ‘Noah’ doesn’t rise much above the flood of generic action, big budget movies.

Rating:

6-10

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6 thoughts on “We Saw: Noah (2014)

  1. I’m disappointed to read that you didn’t like this, but I highly appreciate the warning. You just helped save me 8 bucks. The mentions about stone giants made me more hesitant

    • Actually, in a weird way I would recommend people to watch this movie (but not to pay money for it of course), as it’s, like I said, a very unusual experience and it has some camp value to it (I never thought I’d describe an Aronofsky movie as having a ‘camp value’). Also, I think the movie could easily spawn many interesting debates (and I’m not talking the boring christians vs atheists ones).

      Dorian

  2. I definitely agree with the fantasy elements. They were an odd choice for the filmmaker to make, and did destroy the integrity of the dramatic element of the film.

    • It’s a shame they went with the fantasy elements, without them the movie could have easily been much better. With them, Noah feels strange and cheap. I still can’t wrap my head around those stone giants and what was the purpose of putting them into the movie.

      Dorian

  3. I had a few issues with the script in this one, especially towards the climax which seemed overcrowded – Tubal Cain outstayed his welcome. I did like the creativity that Aronofsky brought to the story though, particularly his depiction of the Creation sequence and use of time-lapse. Still inventive for a big budget movie but, for me, not one of Aronofsky’s best. Great write up!

    • The whole subplot with Tubal Cain seemed to me like it was taken from some third rate comic book movie and had no place in an Aronofsky movie. Aronofsky’s interesting visual ideas definitely savored this movie for me (the movie looked absolutely wonderful). If anyone else directed this movie, I fear it would have been even worse, but unfortunately it still is one of the weakest (if not the weakest) movies in Aronofsky’s career.

      Dorian

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