65%Overall Score
Reader Rating: (2 Votes)
57%

Noah sinks under the weight of its heady themes.

In the age of people blogging about the lack of innovation and heady themes filling the multi plex admittedly you could do much worse than seeing Noah. Director/Writer Darren Aronofsky creates an interesting hypothesis of the examination of religion in a very postmodern attitude. Aronofsky is one of the last auteurs in his craft, bringing a true vision to life, and one could argue that this is his spiritual successor to ‘The Fountain’, another movie fixated on religion. However much like that movie, although Noah gets much right the movie falls under the weight of its own headiness, and fails to deliver what it promises to the audience.

Noah stars Russell Crowe as its titular hero, a man without much of anything in his life. Seeing a dramatic vision that he attests must be from God, he faces ridicule both from his family and others as he begins to build an Ark when water hasn’t been bountiful in seemingly forever. Noahs father was killed by Tubal-Cain, played to great success by Ray Winstone.   Noah encounters a group of fallen angels who give him a seed derived from Eden, he plants it as a forest grows instantly, to give Noah the timber to build his ark. Noah must deal with family issues, along with the treacherous nature of Tubal-Cain in order to fulfill what he thinks is God’s wish to destroy all of Humanity.

Noah is a tough movie to even summarize. There’s no doubting that Aronofsky is brilliant, and tackles some issues buried in biblical subtext in a new and innovative work. For that he should be commended. However that doesn’t mean that he succeeds at some, or even most of what he was trying to do. The movie tackles the metaphor of what is God, and uses several imagines to convey this, although the word God is never uttered in the movie. This seems to be very confusing for a movie based on a biblical passage. The line of trying to please both those who are not religious and those who are devout is what causes the movie to fail. Aronofsky and Handel get a good understanding of a new way to share a biblical epic, but in this case the movie falls when Aronofsky remembers there is another group to please and the movie shifts away from what it should be.

noah

The acting is superb. The problem is that nobody in the movie, especially Noah, is likable. While anti hero’s do exist, and one should not expect to be a choir boy in order to be the protagonist, its hard to see that aside from the Ark, how Noah’s family is much better with him during most of the movie. He seems to revel in being a dick to everyone else, who just seems to follow along. The movie even picks up on this in the third act, having Tubal-Cain prey on each member of Noah’s family for the slights Noah does.   The perfect microism is that Noah wants to kill the children of his daughter if she has girls to end the civilization of man, as God intended. Well there’s several issues with this. If God wanted Noah’s family to live, that would extend to those children. If he wanted the entire race wiped out, why not wipe out Noah and his family, why allow them to leave? It’s a logical fallacy. Either way does not work. On top of that, who wants to see children infants slaughtered in a movie? At the state they are introduced the characters have hardly created the necessary good will in order to have this action be justified by the audience.

Noah’s pacing maybe uneven but the pacing and tension are top notch. The director does a great job using the story to create new visual motifs and imagery. Some of the visual interpretations and uses were extremely strong and creative, truly showing the writers and the rest of the team had done their research in using this as symbolism to show a literal interpretation of if this God exists, and how man would view the images being processed by then.   The flood sequence is better than anything that has come before it. The animals coming into the ark was impressive, however the CQ was incomplete, and took you out of the scene completely.   The soundtrack was strong and boisterous, but hardly anything new or different than what had come before.   The sound design was quite well, and captured a more grainy and brutal world than the one we live in today.

In the end its hard to argue if this movie should have been made. Aronofsky is an auteur in every sense of the word, and despite from the story being from the Bible its one of the more original pieces of work out there. However it should be argued the execution is lacking in the story and overall the characters lack cohesion. In the story being about Noah, we see a totally different Noah than what we are accustomed too, which is fine if it would work. But in this case it doesn’t Aronofsky is a filmmaker who is better than almost anyone else when faced with limits to his budget. One can’t wait to see what he does next but when it comes to the world of Noah, the project is certainly a pass and does not live up to the fantastic premise that was delivered to us.

Details

Directed by: Darren Aronofsky

Written by: Darren Aronofsky, Ari Handel

Starring Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Ray Winstone, Emma Watson

About The Author

David
Creator / Managing Editor

David Postma is the creator, co-managing editor, and writer for Filmtakeout. After receiving an Associates Degree in Journalism from Grand Rapids Community College in 2006, he attended Columbia in Chicago where he graduated in 2010 with a Bachelors in Film. Dave interned at Lionsgate Studios in 2008 where he worked in both the Television department and the New Media department. Dave also runs a production company, Beyond the Horizon, which helped to produce "Weed Road", a hit reality show on the Discovery channel. He currently assists with Global Benefits LLC in financing for commercial, real estate, and entertainment ventures; and he recently became Chief Operating Officer at M6 International where he assists both in financing structures for the company and helping assist overseeing productions of entertainment and commercial projects across the company stratosphere. Dave also sits on the board of directors for Downbeat Collective, a non profit dedicated to creating artistic endeavors to help provide funding to non profit organizations of various need.