From the beginning of time, people were always fueled by their curiosity to find the answers to the unknown. Likewise, the director Darren Aronofsky takes on a big task of converting and interpreting almost a hundred of Biblical verses that tell a story about the Great Flood into a motion picture, Noah, which came out onto the big screen on March 31.
The information supplied about Noah in the Book of Genesis is scant, but his story is among the strangest and scariest in the Hebrew Bible. Disappointed with his creation, God decides to wipe the human race out and start again. The only one, who seems to deserve a second chance, is Noah. So, the burden of saving his family and humanity lies upon his shoulders now.
Many versions of the tale emphasize the happy outcome of the Earth’s rebirth. But Darren Aronofsky lets his imagination fly and chooses to paint this story in dark and grotesque colors. Aronofsky’s Noah is both a psychological thriller, and in a way, a horror movie as well.
There are some big, noisy battle scenes and computer-generated images of gruesome giants. The director also injects apocalyptic scenery on a large scale throughout the film.
Noah begins with the hero and his family, the last descendants of Adam’s third son, Seth, scratching out a monk-like existence in harmony with nature while the corrupt children of Cain spread wickedness and poison across the Earth.
God descends to Noah in the form of visions about the earlier parts of the Old Testament, including the slaying of Abel by his brother Cain, the death of Noah’s father Lamech, and Adam and Eve’s ejection from the Garden of Eden. Having witnessed the sins of man, Noah becomes convinced that God has charged him with entirely cleansing Earth of humanity.
By creating these flashbacks, Aronofsky’s attempt of creating a grand epic is undeniable.
The pressure put on Noah brings out his two dominant moods, claustrophobia and panic. Previously known for his role as Gladiator, Russell Crowe is inarguably the perfect actor to pull off Noah’s character. He skillfully combines the authoritarian father figure with a ruthless warrior. He also manages to work out the fine line between sanity and insanity through his acting.
But not only Crowe is the jewel of the film, Jennifer Connelly from Aronofsky’s Requiem for a Dream returns to work with the director as Noah’s wife. She becomes a substantial character as she symbolizes his suppressed conscience.
In addition, there is Emma Watson as Ila, an invented character of the story. She was adopted by Noah when she was an infant and is set to be a future wife of one of his sons. Watson brings in an angelic image to the film as her character suffers because of her infertility. She has a supernatural scar on her stomach and cannot bear children.
There’s no surprise, when you try and stir up such a controversial subject, that this film met numerous negative critics from religious figures of both, Christian and Islam figures.
Noah is the Bible story of the great flood and humanity’s survival, redemption and the new covenant with God shown through the modern eyes. The Guardian also calls it a big and muscular movie. In my view, it’s definitely worth watching.