The Bible is probably the oldest manuscript that teaches pretty much everyone how to be good, and how to show it through faith. Through well-known stories, The Bible delivers the consequences of believing in faith through very important lessons. One of these stories is the story of Noah and the great flood. There have been many interpretations of the story itself, and now we get a big screen adaptation simply titled “Noah”. How does it hold up against its religious background? Meh. With “Noah”, we get a mixed bag of big visual effects on a grand scale, but a very confusing execution to go along with the original myth.
The story is basically your standard retelling of Noah. Noah (Russell Crowe) receives a message from God who will destroy all of mankind in the form of a flood. Noah, along with his wife and three sons, build the ark, and it is contents being two of every known animal at the time. Yet some people find it crazy and they try to destroy the ark; but the flood comes and kills everyone, leaving Noah and his family to survive the rain and the forthcoming oceans. Noah eventually finds land and hope is restored as faith is restored in humanity. Oh, and there were giant rock monsters who helped Noah build the ark, and are really fallen angels cast out from Heaven… Wait, what?
Yeah, “Noah” takes some creative liberties that some people might not like, but we’ll get there in a minute. Let’s talk about what makes the movie work. For one thing, the cinematography for this film is pretty magnificent; all the locations to look at and the costumes fit the time period well. The music is large and boisterous as it creates dramatic tension throughout the nearly two hours that the film runs. Speaking about the run time, the pacing moved at a nice solid flow for a Biblical drama. Also, some of the actors, most notably, the actors who played Noah’s sons, did a pretty good job. Notice that implies some of the actors, not all. Finally, the visual effects look pretty amazing. Everything is detailed down to the last minute detail, and you can tell that the designing team had a lot of fun with the special effects.
With that being said, the film does suffer from a couple of flaws. First off, the direction by Darren Aronofsky is okay, but the director is mostly known for independent and personal projects. This is not one of them. It just seems out of place for him and it feels like a different director could have handled the project better. Next, the rest of cast, including Crowe, feels forced, over-the-top and rather pointless. This is especially true in the character of Noah, who’s treated like a big action star and a tormented soul that the audience must relate to. It doesn’t work in the context of this film. Finally the story takes some creative liberties to the actual legend of Noah by adding a villain to a story that doesn’t really need a villain, and rock monsters. Yes, we get it; they’re supposed to be like that because the Almighty cast them down to live a tormented life, but really, six-armed rock golems is the best you can come up with? There more inconsistencies in the story, but for the sake of this review, let’s just leave it at that.
In conclusion, “Noah” is a mixed bag. On one hand, it looks and sounds nice, but on the other hand, there is a huge flaw detailing the story department. While the actual story of Noah may offer a more insightful way of looking at family, this kind of splits it down the middle. It may offer some as a a unique experience, but for others following the Christian faith, this might a big mistake from the actual source material.