Even if you did not grow up in a church tradition, this story would be known to most children and adults. Then to have this biblical story put into the hands of director, Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan), conjures mixed potential feelings of artistry and poor biblical misrepresentation. After viewing the film, those feelings were justified, but it is still worth giving this film a consideration.
Russell Crowe (Gladiator) takes on the epic role of Noah. The man chosen by the Creator, God, to save the innocent of the world by building an ark prior to the worldwide flood. Crowe gives a visceral interpretation of the central character that tends to get missed in the children's stories. Add to that Darren Aronofsky’s style of psychological film-making and they build a flawed, but driven Noah. He is supported by a superb cast of Jennifer Connelly, Emma Watson and Anthony Hopkins.
Some may go to see an interpretation of this pivotal point in the history of Judaism and Christianity. Was it an accurate telling of the original story? My challenge would be to this viewer, read the original account and then discern the accuracy. Aronofsky does take the story seriously and manages to direct the film with a respectful consideration of the original theme, but misses on some key points. He honours the message of judgement, the ark and the animals. He misses with the fallen angels, the supposed silence of God and confusion of Noah on the point of who the 'innocent' represent.
For pure entertainment value, I would recommend this film. It was paced well, directed well and acted well, for an adult audiences. It is a good film based on a great story. The character development, visual effects and great basic storyline is worth seeing. I appreciated the work of a master craftsman at work in the actors and the director. If you you are going for a lesson in theology, I would suggest you take time to read the Bible story and then determine the value of the film. I guarantee it will open the door to good conversations about life, mankind and God.
Rating: Entertainment: 4 stars, Theology: 1.5 stars
Review by Russell Matthews @ Russelling Reviews
If you go to the film and want to have a good conversation afterward, here is a good resource for direction for the conversation.