Noah (2014)

Noah

Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Surprisingly really good.

This film was selected from ‘The 250’

It’s ironic that I just wrote a review about a religious-themed movie, calling them films I typically dislike…and then I see another one that just sweeps me away. I kept wracking my brain trying to figure out why it was that Noah was better than the others, and what the main difference was, and then it became clear. The stories of the Bible are really great if they aren’t used as a method of preaching. Sure, the Bible itself is filled with a lot of meaningful messages and the like, but if you look at the stories for the stories, there’s a lot of unused potential in film because no one wants to disrupt the religious hold that the stories already have. Noah’s Ark, for instance, is about the end of the world – but it’s also about the beginning of a new world. I won’t go into the plot synopsis, because…well, it’s Noah’s Ark. However, a lot of liberties were taken.

The story in the Bible isn’t really that specific, so it’s like it welcomes interpretation. What happens in the movie doesn’t completely change what happens in the Bible, it just adds to it a level of action and thought-provoking sequences. Basically, Noah and his family are the only supposed innocent people left in the world, and the rest are descendants of Cain, who killed Abel so many years ago, and the Creator wants to start over by killing everyone but Noah and his family, and the animals. Thing is, the way they look at creation itself is a mixture of both Creationist and Evolutionist views, and it is absolutely spectacular – brilliant even. It took everything I have ever thought about in terms of…why can’t it be both, and it did a wonderful job portraying an all-together new approach to how the world was created.

But people still complain about the film, mostly Chritians, who say it’s basically not how they imagined the story. That’s mostly because the story is God wants to destroy the world, and Noah has to build an ark…end of story. But think about it, people are going to want to get on that ark, and they are going to be willing to do whatever’s necessary to obtain a place on that boat. If God wants to destroy the world because of the wickedness, you better believe the people are messed up and violent. You better also guess that Noah himself, being the devout follower of God’s instructions, is going to protect God’s wishes and his family at the same time…which also means being violent. I also love that Noah interpreted visions as words from the Creator. That allows for interpretation by the audience…he could just be high off his mind. He could just be drunk, seeing how the Bible does say Noah was a drunkard. It could be a million different things, but the way they presented it in the movie was really smart and really cool.

The film also has a very interesting assortment of visuals. It looks really pretty. Each scene, you could tell someone somewhere had a vision of how they thought Noah experienced things, and they did a wonderful job sharing those visions with the audience. It is spectacular, it says a thousand words, it’s easy to share the same thoughts as Noah, the same emotions as Noah, and honestly…it was a smart move to make the movie the way it was made.

I don’t fully understand the rock monsters. I mean, it does make sense as far as how it was explained in the movie, but I’m not entirely sure they were 100% necessary. In the end, they were, but I don’t know. I could have enjoyed the movie just as much without them.

I think the film did a great job explaining the differences between the wickedness of man and the inevitable wickedness within oneself, regardless of the good things they try to do. Man will still have his own desires, and his emotions will sometimes be the deciding factor in matters of the heart. Other than that, I have to commend the casting director on their choice for each of the actors. Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Anthony Hopkins, Emma Watson, Logan Lerman, and Douglas Booth all did a really, really good job in their roles. Each of them had their struggles, and each of them overcame those struggles in a big way. I can easily say I’m really surprised at how well this film came out, and how much I enjoyed it.

The Good:

Noah is one of the only examples of religious-themed films that I can find that looks at a story in the Bible, and says hey…that’s a really cool story, what would happen if we made it into a movie based solely on that story and not have it be a preach-fest? Here you go, America, one of only religious-themed films that everyone can enjoy. That’s right. Even atheists.

The Bad:

If anyone is going to complain about the movie, you already know it’s the gun-hoe Christians that are crossing their arms saying it doesn’t follow the exact story in Genesis. Well, I’m glad, because if it did, the movie would be over in fifteen minutes.

The Random:

Christian Bale was almost going to play Noah. So that means when Emma Watson’s character isn’t in his line of sight, he could shout “WHERE IS SHE?” in a deep, grungy voice.

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13 thoughts on “Noah (2014)

  1. Good review Dave. It’s a very strange movie, but I think because it’s Aronofsky, it gets a pass because he’s so willing to go that extra mile that most directors won’t go for.

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  2. Solid review. Personally I think the movie has enough flaws that go beyond just Christian scrutiny (which I also completely understand). In fact there were times where I thought the movie was just silly. Don’t want to get into spoiler territory but some things had me shaking my head. OverallI felt Aronofsky lost control of this thing.

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    • I thought this film was phenomenal, honestly. I couldn’t keep my eyes off of it it was so intense. I didn’t think anything was silly…maybe the animation/models of the watchers, but that’s about it.

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  3. I finally saw it too. As a movie with no other influence, it was fantastic! Great acting (except Russel Crowe – lol). The CG in the beginning needed some work, but the flood starting scene was good. For the longest time I seemed to see a problem. If Noah wanted to wipe out mankind, why did they even get on the ark? Then a quick reference towards the end said they had to awaken the animals. That part didn’t make sense to me for quite a while tho.

    Obviously if you watch the movie as a Biblical movie, you are going to be let down, possibly even angered. I had to put those expectations aside to even watch this. I had to just think of it as any other disaster/end of the world movie. I realized they wanted to make it more dramatic, and I do believe Noah probably actually struggled psychologically with what was happening. But here’s the thing. I believe they added all the dramatic elements to really entice viewers – but how enticing might the true story of the flood and it’s aftermath have been? That’s never really been told in this format.

    It seems strange to me that you have to add dramatic elements to a story that is one of the most dramatic stories ever told – but I guess its like Titanic. You need Jack & Rose’s story to make it personal – but it’s not based on any reality.

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    • I actually went through line by line in the bible and practically everything from the biblical story is represented, plus I feel it actually does a great job representing the themes of the original story as well. I think even if you go in wanting a biblical story it’s pretty good, but it’s pretty good regardless.

      Sure they added stuff, but you kind of have to. The story itself, like David said, if you just told what was written in the bible alone, would be a 15 minute movie. If you wanted to try to stretch that out, it would get boring. You kind of have to come up with what else might have happened at the time. And the rock creatures, well, it’s a supernatural story, so they didn’t seem out of place at all imo. Just because they weren’t written about, it doesn’t mean they weren’t there. If you go in with that mentality, the movie works quite well.

      It’s kind of like any “based on a true story movie”. They keep everything special about the original story, and they add stuff. In this case, I think they did a great job adding stuff that doesn’t take anything away from the original story at all. That doesn’t always happen in hollywood.

      Now we’ll see how Ridley Scott does with “Exodus” haha

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      • See, my entire point was that this movie did something that no one ever has before. They took a STORY from the bible, and just focused on the story itself – not making it a preach-fest. The Bible has a lot of great stories, most of which have never been told simply just as stories in film before. I’ve always wanted to see them do that. As such, I think this was a masterpiece.

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  4. Yeah this was great man, it surprised me too and surpassed expectations. Mine were actually high to begin with. Kudos to Aronofsky for handling such a tricky subject matter

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