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Movie review: Noah

A film that show it pays to be a vegetarian

March 29, 2014 | 11:24 a.m. CST

Fact: Darren Aronofsky deals with the strange and surreal. It’s really his bread and butter. So, going into his latest film knowing that it’s based off the biblical story of Noah was something of an odd experience. First, let’s get one thing straight. Don’t go into this expecting a true-to-form adaptation of the Noah story. Just don’t. Not only will you be sadly disappointed but also very confused.

In the beginning, the plot is very much what you would imagine it to be. God has judged mankind, found them wanting and decided to destroy the world with water. Well, that is, save for Noah (Russell Crowe) and his family, tree-hugging vegetarians who loyally attempt to follow the Creator’s will. This is the bare bones plot, but from here it gets a little J.R.R. Tolkien.

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To start with, there are giant rock creatures that help Noah build his gargantuan ark. Second, Emma Watson’s character is also completely fictionalized, which I think is to make the plot a little less incestuous than it already is. Last, there’s also a lot of fighting, killing and overall pillaging that takes place throughout the course of the film. Some of the fight scenes are rather cool, but they don’t particularly mesh well with the film.

For all the flaws of this film, and there are many, the acting and cinematography is very well-done. Crowe does a stupendous job of portraying a devoted, albeit sometimes murderous, man who simply wants to do his job well. The dream-like sequences are odd but cool and offer a different perspective on the Noah epic than viewers might expect.

In short, the film keeps you guessing, which is some measure of accomplishment for one of the most known stories ever. Also, I rather like the underlying “care for the earth or else” message that the Aronofsky constantly returns to. Maybe we should all consider the global warming epidemic a little more seriously if we want a ticket aboard the last boat on earth.

Vox Rating: V V V

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