Noah has a vision of The Creator destroying the world in order to cleanse it of the sins of man. He is tasked with saving the innocent, the animals, and to do this he builds an Ark. As it nears completion, Man comes and demands to be let on the Ark, which leads to a battle, which stops when the Heavens open, and the rain comes to cleanse the world.
Noah – Russel Crowe (Broken City, Man of Steel, A Winters Tale)
Naameh – Jennifer Connelly (A Winters Tale)
Tubal-Cain – Ray Winstone (Snow White and the Huntsman, The Sweeney)
Iia – Emma Watson (This is the End, The Bling Ring)
Methuselah – Anthony Hopkins (Hitchcock, Red 2, Thor 2)
Ham – Logan Lerman (Percy Jackson, the Perks of Being a Wallflower)
Shem – Douglas Booth (Romeo and Juliet)
Written by: Darren Aronofsky, Ari Handel (The Fountain)
Directed by: Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan, The Wrestler)
The story of Noah, I’m sure nearly everyone has heard the story. Even if they don’t know the full biblical story, they know the basic jist of the story. A flood comes upon the Earth, Noah takes all the animals (2 by 2) onto an Ark, eventually the rain stops, a dove is sent out and comes back with a branch, signalling there is land. I’m going to be honest, I had no idea how they were going to pad this basic story out into a 2 hour film. I went into the film not really expecting much (even though I have liked previous Aronofsky films) and I came out of the film, actually having enjoyed it.
The film has many biblical references in it, as well as some aspects of Evolution in it. The Evolution aspect of the story is only minor, but I feel has to be brought up, especially in a well-known biblical story (especially as the Evolution/Creationism aspects generally contradict each other). When the story of how the world is created is told, it essentially starts with a big bang, and we see a fish in the sea, who then walks on land, and eventually becomes man. The Big Bang is a big part of Evolution theory and we see the evolution of man as descended from fish. This part of the story is shown, and even has a voiceover, but it is never referenced as Evolution.
The film is very biblical heavy. It not only tells the Noah’s Ark story, but also linked it into previous stories in the bible. It tells the story of Adam and Eve, their expulsion from the Garden of Eden (also brought into the story by having the last seed from the Garden be the thing which grows the trees to build the Ark). Their sons Can/Abel and Seth, the two survivors who are the descendants of man. It turns out that Noah is a direct descendant of Seth and Tubal-Cain is obviously a descendant of Cain. Their descendants live very different lives. Tubal has taken over the world, living in sin, and destroying the world bit by bit. Noah on the other hand lives off the land, and lives a peaceful life trying to keep away from Man. Noah/Tubal have a storyline running through it which is essentially a replay of the Cain/Abel story, with Tubal jealous of Noah for not only being able to “talk” to The Creator (he is never referred to as God) and feeling forsaken by the Creator. Noah/Tubal essentially go through the Cain/Abel parable, with Tubal jealous that not only Noah is able to talk to the Creator but also that he is being saved. Tubal goes through a real emotions during the film. The feeling of inadequacy of not being able to talk to the Creator, and the feeling of being forsaken by him in not being saved. Its essentially a retelling of Cain/Abel, only with a different outcome.
There is also the story of Fallen Angels. Or in the case of the film, Rock Creatures. Former Angels who came down to Earth in order to help humanity. This could be a reference to Satan. They also feel forsaken by the Creator, not being able to talk to him, and being left on Earth in their current Rocky forms. They seek redemption and feel the only way to get it is to help Noah build the Ark (which also works as a convenient way for the Ark to be build, and for Noah to have an army to fight against Mankind). Much like the bibles teachings, the Rock Creatures do good, and when they die, are sent back to Heaven.
Now onto Noah and his family. He has three sons, and an adopted daughter, IIa, who is “wife” to his oldest, Shem. The middle child, Ham, is desperate for a wife, someone for him to bring into the new world. This causes tension between him and his father, especially later in the film. His father is of the belief that if Ham is meant to have a wife, she will comes to them, the Creator will provide them one for him. When she doesn’t come, Ham is not only angry at the Creator, but directly blames his father. This provides tension, especially when they are on the Ark, and Ham is being talked to by a stowaway Tubal-Cain. Noah himself isn’t the Saint that he seems to be. The way he is written is that he blindly follows the Creator. Once on the Ark, he realises that he and his family aren’t so innocent afterall, and that eventually they will have to die in order for the world to really start anew. This aspect of the film is what really intrigued me. It essentially reminded me of a Cult type thing. With the Leader blindly following the word of the Lord to a the T, with Noah finding out that Iia/Shem would have a child, and him threatening to kill it once it was born, because there could be no survivors of the old world. It made the film that little bit more dark, and gave Noah more character than the goody two shoes that we all expect him to be.
The film is stunning visually as well as graphically, with the CGI used to great effect. It also has some Aronofsky cuts and repeats (see Requiem for a Dream) which he is known for, as well as some good stop motion style storytelling. The acting is decent enough with me not really noticing anything exceptionally good, or exceptionally bad. The film was actually quite engrossing that I didn’t really notice the time as I was watching it.
Noah was more than I expected it to be, it was a bit biblical heavy, but you expect that from a story from the Bible, but it also showed how we treat the world. The world in the film was one of destruction, and one where the world has been stripped of everything it had. I’m not saying that there will be a Biblical Flood anytime soon, but it did show the destruction of the world by man.
TVFR Rating: 7/10
Thanks for reading, don’t forget to ‘Subscribe’ to our YouTube channel,‘Like’ us on Facebook,‘Follow’ us on Twitter and ‘+1′ us on Google+ for regular updates on all your favourite TV shows and the latest blockbusters, straight to your news feed.
Ricky Diaz – @rickyreviews