Making a satisfactory Bible-themed film is probably as much of a mine field as making a satisfactory superhero film. With a big-screen Bible story, however, you don't just risk upsetting loyal fanboys, but you have the distinct opportunity to annoy people of faith. My pal Mikey wrote a review of Darren Aronofsky's Noah at the beginning of April, but it kept eluding me when I went to the movies. Even though it received its share of good and bad reviews, I still wanted to check it out.
I grew up without any religious background--either my parents wanted me to find my own faith (if any), or they were just over it by the time they adopted me and my brother. It's pretty obvious that my main religious education came from my experiences performing in productions of Jesus Christ Superstar, Godspell, and Children of Eden, because a lot of Noah went over my head. This, however, doesn't mean I didn't enjoy it. Maybe if it was just a exodus period piece I would have enjoyed it even more, but I felt like I was expecting to be confused as I watched it. There was a lot of, "Did I know this? Is this part of the Bible? Did Aronofsky add this in?"
I'm one of the only heathens that doesn't really know the story of Noah, right? I shall skip plot in this brief review then. The performances got me through a lot of the "funny business." Rock people? Sure! Is Anthony Hopkins doing his best Dumbledore impression? Why not! Religious films surely appeal to a lot of people, but for us non-believers maybe it needs some clarification. Or maybe I just need to "read the book."
Is everyone still anti-Russell Crowe? After the hatred he received for "ruining" Les Miserables, I wasn't sure if people were ready to accept him in another movie. He's not always the most likable guy (you know, when he's running around trying to stab Emma Watson's newborn twins), but Crowe is gruff and hopeful in all the right ways. Noah's repeated dreams are pretty eerie, so no wonder he jumps on the chance to build a huge boat.
My MVP of Noah might be Jennifer Connelly, because of one scene. If you've seen the film, you'll know which one I'm talking about. She begs Noah to change his mind about killing Watson's aforementioned twins. Connelly just lets it all out, mucus and all, and I would have accepted more. Perhaps I loved her so much because I feel like I haven't see her in a long time, but I'll take it.
The part that bothered me the most was the mustache twirling of Ray Winstone. He always sounds like he just smoked 638 cigarettes, and he's trying to convince you that's the biggest badass on the block. Or the ark in this case. Can you honestly tell me that no one did a walk through of the ark in the nine months they were on there and discover him? Come onnnn.
I am also waiting for a line of Noah sleepwear, because those costumes look so comfortable! You can walk around with rock people in them or you can build a giant boat because
God The Creator wants you to. So versatile.