“Noah” is the movie adaptation of the Biblical epic, where god warns the only man he trusts to build an Ark in order to save as many innocent lives as possible. Like any other adaptation, this movie is not exactly loyal to the original source. Therefore, it infuriated many religious people all over the world. This movie marks the reunion of Darren Aronofsky and Jennifer Connelly after over 13 years (their last movie was the requiem for a dream, 2000) and also, the reunion of Russell Crowe and Jennifer Connelly after A beautiful mind, released in 2001. The presence of the above three artists who are simply good at their respective jobs indeed motivated me to watch this, no matter how bad the plot turned out. Plus, we have Emma Watson in her next big movie since the Harry Potter series.
Noah (Russell Crowe) sees the great prophecy shown to him in a dream where the world is going to end, covering and annihilating all forms of life. Then he sees the new life that follows, however it will be in the absence of the god’s favorite creation, man. After accepting the inevitable, he begins to build an Ark that could withstand the flood, along with his wife Naameh (Jennifer Connelly), sons and the fallen angels, whom he encounters in his journey while trying to escape from murderers. He meets and rescues a sterile young girl named Ila (Emma Watson) who falls in love with Shem (Douglas Boothe), Noah’s eldest son. Then after (somehow) knowing the same prophecy, Tubal-Cain (Ray Winstone) demands a place in Noah’s Ark. Noah denies it believing that god wanted mankind to end.
Darren Aronofsky’s direction kept up with his reputation of showing his imagination of an event with disturbing visuals, it is less perturbing in this movie compared to Requiem for a dream and the black swan. The movie starts with a perfect monologue and opening, but then it is followed by dragging that makes the audience uncomfortable with boredom. Later on, after the flood is depicted, the pace increases exponentially. Some of the events looked too artificial, like the scene where Methuselah (Anthony Hopkins) Noah’s grandfather heals Ila’s (Emma Watson) infertility. In a way, it seemed as the only important role of Methuselah in Noah’s world. Russell Crowe is great as usual with his tough personality and vocal performance. The scene where he is torn between conflicting choices are on point. But this version of the biblical hero is hard to digest, due to his cold unconquerable nature and his obstinacy towards his family, because of which they spend half the time in fear or depressed. Jennifer Connelly is perfect as a woman who loves unconditionally, a mother who would do anything for her children even if it contradicts her husband’s views. She is steadfast in her portrayal and her emotional moments with Russell Crowe are worth mentioning in terms of acting quality. In this ensemble film, Emma stood out with her punchy acting especially in the second half where the circumstances challenge her.
Ila is a fascinating character performed effectively by Emma Watson. Noah is, in a way, her movie. People going with surmise will end up contented with her flexible performance. Logan Lerman was average compared to his range depicted in Perks on being a wallflower, 2012. Douglas Boothe’s presence did not have the required effect due to his less impressive acting. Ray Winston added his cents and made an effective appearance with good moments, only moments.
I don’t appreciate a lot of CGI, but the 3D version makes it look convenient and enjoyable. The technical side did their effort to please the audience expecting action if only they could make the “Fallen angels” look a little more amiable. Clint Mansell made the visual livelier with his haunting compositions. The montages that showed the evolution of earth and human race is done efficaciously with Russell Crowe’s narration, and due to the fact that current scenario could be related to the drastic effects mentioned, thus grasping our attention. The make-up department left out a detail; Russell Crowe was shown as an old man later on after a gap of 10 years, but Jennifer Connelly looked the same literally.
The fact that this movie is so different from the bible is cringe worthy, the final pregnancy sequence and Noah’s reaction to it makes us question his integrity as a man. Was Noah this supercilious in terms of the judgment of human race? And subsequent child birth shown somehow reminded me of the typical scenario here in India (in most parts), China, Turkey, Africa etc. If you are a Christian, know that since this movie was banned in many religious countries then could contradict with what you were taught. But as a movie with 3D and special effects it is worth a glance. As a nature rights supporter, I was glad to hear Noah describe the animals as the “innocent ones who deserves to be saved”. It could be a small poke to all those who turn back on animal rights.
Featured image source: wikia
Disclaimer: This is an updated review that was first published in author’s personal blog.