‘Noah’ — enjoy the movie, forget the Bible


reviewBy Jeremy Miller

“Noah” is the latest from one of my all-time filmmakers, Darren Aronofsky (“Black Swan”, “The Fountain”, “The Wrestler”).

It stars Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Anthony Hopkins and Emma Watson. The premise is of course the classic biblical tale of Noah (Crowe) one of the last “good men of clean heart” type guys left on Earth, as Tubal-Cain (Winstone) has left mankind in a condition of aberration and chaos. Noah receives a message from The Creator that soon Earth and its inhabitants will be wiped out through a massive flood. He immediately uproots his family and migrates toward the mountain of residence of his grandfather, Methuselah. There he seeks advice and further clarification of his message and finds that he must build an arc to save all animals of earth from the upcoming flood that will ultimately end all life.

With the help of the big man upstairs, he plants a seed that spawns an entire forest from which he can build his arc. Along the way fallen angels assist in the construction of the arc and Noah finds much needed moral support from his wife, Naameh (Connelly), who most certainly could have bounced at the first sign of crazy, but stuck by him regardless.

Most everyone knows the story, so I’ll leave the rest of the story for the film to tell. Now, here’s the deal: I am not a religious person, nor do I claim to be or try to be. I went into this flick knowing the basics. I feel like so often films are criticized so heavily due to lack of accuracy or alignment with source (the Bible in this case) and it drives some people nuts. Me, not so much. I went to this expecting a movie from Hollywood and that’s exactly what I got.

Russell Crowe played Russell Crowe like he does in every other movie, but I love it and he entertains the heck out of me when he does it. I felt like the way Aronofsky built the landscape of the film was perfect, a good balance of what seems to be non-fiction balanced well with fantasy. It had good movement from the build of the characters and plot to delivery of action and the inevitable flood. I thought the special effects were tiptop, minus the animals. Darren certainly earned brownie points with PETA for not using real animals, but it’s obvious. The CGI at times was a bit disappointing.

movieThe climax of the movie was intense and had me nervous for everyone involved. I’ve read a lot of critical reviews of this piece specifically of how Noah is portrayed. I guess I just don’t get it because if God told me that he was going to destroy the world and I had to build a boat, sail in it with my wife, kids, and all the animals of the world, I would be a little more than upset. It’s like an overly epic road trip across the country for 40 days with no escape. That’s rough no matter how good you got it at home.

The only gripes I had with the picture are as follows. Typically, Jennifer Connelly can do me no wrong, however at times she really forced her character and her lines, which I am going to blame on the script. But, admittedly she did over-act for bits and pieces. The score was also very minimal, especially for Clint Mansell who just happens to be amazing and he really didn’t give this one his all.

Overall, I can understand some criticism, but personally, I had fun, a lot of fun and thoroughly enjoyed the story telling and cinematography. If you’re expecting “Passion of the Christ”, you won’t find it here. If you’re looking for a Hollywood blockbuster with Russell Crowe kickin’ butt during the bible times, look no further.

South Lake Tahoe resident Jeremy Miller has more movie reviews online.


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Comments (6)
  1. Dan says - Posted: April 2, 2014

    I too am a Aronofsky fan and the Bible issue aside, it didn’t float my boat.

    Did I just say that?


  2. Your kidding says - Posted: April 2, 2014

    It makes for good fiction

  3. Greg says - Posted: April 2, 2014

    Fiction just like the original product

  4. Lisa says - Posted: April 2, 2014

    As a Comparative Religion student, I had to go and knew that to make a small Biblical story into a 2 hour movie, there had to be a lot of creativity and that doesn’t bother me a bit. Saw it last night. Russell Crowe did a good job acting, but felt is was what would happen in a fictional 4 truck crash and the contents of all four merged. The trucks would be, the Bible, Starwars (or Transformers), the REI backpacking catalog and Seventeen magazine on what to wear for glam camping (tasteful leggings and an off the shoulder tunic top for the women). Some shots were just plain comical. That being said, there were a few who clapped at the end. I think if you are religious and looking for God to triumph over sin, you will think it is a great movie.

  5. cosa pescado says - Posted: April 2, 2014

    Everyone who pays to watch this movie should be forced to sit through the the original Cosmos series and the new one with NGT.

  6. rock4tahoe says - Posted: April 2, 2014

    Cosa. As a fan of the Cosmos series (old & new) too, one could make the similar argument for Star Trek, Star Wars and Transformers where technology and Physics do not seem to agree. I have realized for a number of years that the Bible can not be taken “literally” as non-fiction. There are some goods stories in the Bible and hopefully this movie does good job at telling one.