Most of us have stressed how much humanity has plundered itself into an ego-driven society that craves greed and gluttony. Is that truly the case? The answer will always come out differently depending on what position the person is in.
If they are at a point where they’ve worked enough to become leaders in their community where their creativity has built success, they will tell anyone that people are not at any crossroads and that progress is the only route that we are following. But if you ask a poor family, then they will refer to mankind’s obsession with high social class and how little they care for those that need the real help.
Our questioning of people is not a new thing. Philosophers have debated for a while over how people should act and whether we even should act and give in to our animalistic instincts. I’m a believer that we are not animals (at least in an intelligent and behavioral manner) and we often forget what’s most important. Nobody comes into the world wicked. We can only learn and absorb from our environments and we are what we do. The most well known story on questioning mankind’s ways is told in Noah.
I think it’s easy to assume that most people already know the classic tale of Noah and how he gathered two of every animal in an ark to start the world again after a flood. Even if you’re not religious, Noah remains one of the most told stories of one man’s quest from God to save everything while losing everything.
Though it remains well known, it’s also a part of the Bible that’s not very long and remains open for interpretation. So when I found out that art house master Darren Aronofsky was in charge of Noah, I was excited to see his version.
In this version, Noah (played by Russell Crowe) has a vision from the Creator that the world will end with a flood. He takes his wife Naameh (played by Jennifer Connelly) and three sons to see his grandfather Methuselah (played by Anthony Hopkins) to confirm his vision. Noah is given a seed from the Garden of Eden that sprouts an entire forest where rock angels called The Watchers are convinced that he was chosen by the Creator to build an ark.
Noah spends years building the massive ship to save the animals, though a king named Tubal-Cain (played by Ray Winstone) wishes to use it to save himself and his kingdom.
The first thing I was worried about was that because of the epic size that Noah needed to be, I wasn’t sure how the CGI would look in this kind of movie. My fears were put to rest…for the most part. The world here feels very large in size, especially when you see the ark. Rather than CGI-ing it, Aronofsky went the extra effort to build one to scale. It looks amazing. The animals are also CGI and look fine, except for a few that look a little too fake. And the rock angels who I think were supposed to look earthly look more like creatures from Lord of the Rings than the Bible.
Russell Crowe does his usual job of good acting making Noah a much more conflicted individual than of a typical carpenter who could have simply saved the day. Jennifer Connelly provides good support as does Emma Watson as Noah’s stepdaughter, but my favorite here is Ray Winstone who plays a great love-to-hate king who doesn’t see the tragedy of the flood, only thinking of how he will rule the land once the water recedes.
I’ll give this four arks out of five. I think that most people may be turned off by not how it takes liberties with the Noah story, but with how avant-garde this movie is. Noah is something that I liked and that I’m sure will find an audience, religious and non-religious, but they’re in for a more artsy take of the story of starting the world again.