We all know the story.
God, known in this movie as the Creator, is going to punish the evil sinners of the world by sending a great flood. Noah, a direct descendent of Seth, the good son of Adam and Eve, is instructed to build an ark so he and his family, along with 2 of every animal species, will be spared. The descendents of Adam and Eve’s fallen son Cain have been banished and live in great cities of sin and evil. It is a tale told and re-told by almost every ancient culture on Earth.
This is Darren Aronofsky’s re-imagining of that tale.
Noah (Crowe) is married to Naameh (Connelly) and they have 3 sons…. Shem (Booth), Ham (Lerman) and Japheth (Carroll). They live a simple life of peace and harmony with what remains of the world around them. This world has been ravaged by the descendents of Cain, now led by Tubal-Cain (Winstone).
And this world is more reminiscent of movie post-apocalyptic worlds than biblical worlds. It is desolate and dark and barren.
Noah’s visions from the Creator comes to him in a series of increasingly frightening dreams. One day his family is attacked by some members of Cain’s tribe and as they flee, they are forced to enter the forbidden grounds of the fallen angels, also known as the Nephilim. Here they discover the child Ila (Watson), dying next to the bodies of her dead family members who have been attacked.. They will not leave her and she joins the family.
The Nephilim discover them and, as they despise all humans, throw the family into a pit to slowly starve and die. These angels are ugly looking creatures made of stone with eyes of fire. They look at lot like the Ents from The Lord of the Rings. One of the
Ents angels takes pity on the family and leads them to safety. Noah, in turns, protects the angel and it is now that the Creator shows them all the way forward.
And over the next 10 years, the great Ark is built.
Of course, once the Ark is built and the skies darken before the rain starts to fall, the tribes of Cain attempt to seek refuge on Noah’s Ark. A fearsome and very violent battle ensures. This is no sweet Sunday school telling of Noah’s story that’s for sure.
Once the flood covers the world and Noah and his family have to wait it out, Noah has a crisis of faith and becomes increasingly agitated and unstable. Convinced that the Creator means them to be the last of mankind, he lets them all know he will do as he sees fit to ensure the Creator wishes are honoured.
That Ark is not a nice place to be.
Suffice it to say, this is not the movie I expected. At over 2 hours in length and starring Crowe, Connelly and Hopkins (as Noah’s grandfather Methuselah), I was truly expecting a biblical epic in the vein of The Ten Commandments. This movie is dark and tragic…. much like you would realistically expect given the circumstances. It is violent and cruel as the world of Noah is. There is great love and courage and most importantly, there is hope. Hope for a new world that will be more peaceful and loving.
This is not a religious movie in the traditional sense. It steers clear of mentioning God and is not, from memory, the flood story I was told as a child.
What this is though is a great piece of cinema. Crowe is at his commanding best again and Connelly is just wonderful, as always, as the loving and devoted wife and mother. This pair has always shared the screen well together.
This is not a movie for the kiddies though. It is scary almost from the start and I really would suggest you rethink taking your younger ones to see it. But for everyone else who loves a nice long epic or who is simply curious about the hype, your money will be well spent.
But should I ever need to spend time on an Ark, I will be weighing up my options …….
Love Flick xx
Director : Darren Aronofsky
Starring : Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Anthony Hopkins, Ray Winstone, Emma Watson, Logan Lerman, Douglas Booth, Nick Nolte, Mark Margolis, Kevin Durand, Leo McHugh Carroll, Marton Csokas, Finn Wittrock, Madison Davenport, Gavin Casalegno
Running Time : 106 minutes38
Release Date : 27 March, 2014