Natalie Kfoury – Co-Editor-In-Chief
From the directorial mind of Darren Aronofsky who amazed crowds with “Black Swan” comes 2014’s “Noah.” The film, which stars Russell Crowe in the lead role, portrays the biblical tale told time and time again. However, Aronofsky freshens the age-old story by introducing stylistic devices, brilliant visuals, and interesting character development that the story of a flood for 40 days and 40 nights did not include.
At its base, “Noah” is the story of a man who hears the calling of “the Creator” (the word “God” is never uttered in the film). The Creator tells Noah because man has ruined the Earth, everything will be destroyed by an enormous flood. However, the Creator asks for Noah to save his family and the innocent, which happen to be animals. A male and female version of every animal on Earth comes to Noah to be saved, surviving in an ark during the storm.
While its premise is everything biblical, its execution is far from literal. Aronofsky takes creative liberties in pro- viding character development that is not included in the Bible. For example, the character, Ila (Emma Watson), is a young girl Noah and his family stumble across who was left for dead with an injury leaving her barren. Of course Noah takes her in and she ends up falling in love with his son, Shem.
In addition, Aronofsky uses his creative talent to display to viewers how awful the world really was/is. In a scene where Noah goes to find suitable wives for his sons, he discovers the horrors of humanity: cannibalism, murder, and abuse as many fight one another to stay alive during desperate times. In addition the animals Noah takes in include real beings, such as snakes and birds, but also mythical creatures such as griffins.
Aronofsky’s vision is generally well-produced but falls short at times. In “Noah,”
fallen angels called “Watchers” inhabit the Earth. These angels’ glowing bodies have been covered with solid rock, giving them an appearance that almost looks like “Transformers.” While it is understood why they look that way it is hard to take these characters seriously when they lumber around and look so unrealistic.
“Noah” is a biblical film that does not feel biblical to watch. The movie often feels like it would fit more in the science fiction genre than religious. The acting is generally strong but nothing stands out especially, despite having an all-star cast including Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, and Anthony Hopkins. “Noah” is filled with big ideas and big attempts. Even though it falters, it is still a comfortable and decent film overall.