Saturday, March 29, 2014

Noah - Review

Noah – Review

We all know the biblical story of Noah. A deeply religious and faithful man who through his uncompromising relationship with “The Creator”, is given a dream like sign that he or she is not happy with the pervasive evil that has come to plague the world and overwhelmed humanity’s souls. To correct this sinful nature inundating the world, “The Creator” tells Noah that all of humanity must be destroyed through the cleansing water of a great flood. Noah is given the task to building a massive Ark, one which will be able house all of the innocent animals and Noah’s family to survive the impending wrath of punishment, the end.

Now that I have given the story away, let me tell you that as a movie version of this story I found Director Darren Aronofsky’s interpretation of this famous biblical story simply spectacular entertainment. Why?

For one, Aronofsky does a masterful job of providing a thorough reimagining of what this period of human existence might have looked like. It has a wonderful feel of being both primitive and yet other worldly, ancient and futuristic. Specifically, he manages to stay true to the basic tenants of the religious Christian faith based story but also give it just enough of the right touches of a modern feel to it as well, in that one could also have easily imagined this story (if not already known) as a creatively artful and well hone science fiction story of an earnest alien people living on another planet in a galaxy far, far, far away..

Be sure there are special affects abound, but they seem to never get in the way of the larger human story of good verses evil. And with that right balance Aronofsky tightly moves the 2 hour 20+ minute tale with a flawless even pace through out, never straying too far from biblical backdrop of the story but still cleverly weaving in several fascinatingly new and interesting sub plots that I am certain were not part of the original story but worked nonetheless in this overall effort.

Also, Aronofsky make a great effort never to use the name “God” in his movie. Instead “The Creator and “He” are our religious references. I believe this was deliberate in that the Director wanted to make his film something receptive by all faiths. I suspect even more so, based on a specific scene near the end that was narrated by Noah’s voice over, Aronofsky wanted to make a heart felt effort to closing the gap or the argument if you will of the competing interest of those who are literalist to their biblical beliefs of life’s origin and life’s existence on earth and those people who see the world through the prism of scientific, facts and evolution. It was a heartfelt effort on the Director’s part and he does about as well as one could imagine given how delicate this arena typically is wrought with persecuting political and consequential peril.    
Russell Crowe and Jennifer Connolly, previous Oscar Winners, are equally perfectly cast in this film in that they both give strength, authentic credibility, deep warmth and genuine sincerity to their respective roles, especially Crowe who was fabulous. Crowe’s Noah, while a confident man, is also a man of tormented stress, anxiety, heart ache and moments of doubt. He is far from a looking into the headlights smiling deer that does “The Creator’s biding blindly, he is a real man with contemporary conflicts of moral pain and consternation

The cinematography as mentioned earlier had beautiful bleak apocalyptic and garden of Eden–esque atmosphere blend to it, in that it starkly reminds us that ancient life was an existence of perpetual hard work and rugged harshness and yet maintain some measure of wonder and beauty overall. The color texture and vistas of this film seem to be uniquely crafted to tell this story in parts of our real world none of us have ever seen which added greatly to the recreation of Noah’s Ark. The fact is 40 years ago another Director would have relied on this film being seen through a mild, glossy and sterile tapestry. The 2014 Noah landscape seemed real and really unforgiving.

There is a rare moment of humor when the animals show up to enter the Ark, especially when "Naameh” Noah’s wife see’s the snakes coming. I also, looked hard to see where the animal poop went as in they were out on water for 40 days and nights - I saw none. Still, without giving anything away Director Aronofsky does cleverly offer up a relative plausible explanation why there was no poop on the floor, but I digress.

In the end, Noah is a big screen effort that deserves your big screen time and money.

3 – 3/4 Stars

No comments:

Post a Comment