Noah director and writer Darren Aronofsky is pretty clear about two things.
He doesn’t want all his audience to feel comfortable with his flick.
He is resolute to make you squirm.
Hey, he wants to make a statement too.
And for that, he has taken to the Bible, his own version.
Following a few title fade-ins that most of us know, we are introduced with the branches of Adam and Eve – the descendants of Cain (Evil) and Noah, the descendant of Seth (Good).
Apparently God is fed up with Earth and decides to destroy it.
Unlike what Genesis says director Darren Aronofsky curses us oops presents us with VFX hints to Noah that the world is going to end in the form of a flood.
Now Noah has to create an Ark that will carry his family, animals, birds, snakes etc.
But Noah needs some form of support. That comes in the form known as “Watchers”.
Instructions are given and Noah starts building the Ark.
Complications arise when “Tubal Cain” and his group seek a place aboard and Noah denies them. Tubal Cain looks like a good guy. I guess this is where the director might have thought right out of the box.
While these so called complications are escalating along with the deadline for flood, Noah sons, Ham and Shem’s, (excluding Japheth), sexual urges are at stake.
Poor fellas need a partner for reproduction after destruction of Earth. So they keep running around. Shem has a girlfriend in the form of “Ila”. Unfortunately she is barren out of a wound early on in the story.
So how all these get fixed and Noah makes his Ark and ride forms the rest of the story.
Here is a list of what I noticed.
* The “Watchers” are easily one of the ugliest, least imaginative creatures I’ve seen for a while. The director looks clueless.
* There wasn’t a single moment where I rooted for Noah.
* Shem and Ham’s libido takes center stage for a fair bit of screen time and I found myself rooting for them instead. Unfortunately it’s a PG 13 movie.
* Even Noah’s wife, “Naameh” (Jennifer Connelly) is devastated about the fact that the flood is gonna mess up their sons’ sexual future.
* This whole Shem, Ham and Naameh sub-plot takes too much screen time.
* While it’s clear that the director wants to put it slightly in the perspective of Tubal Cain so as to represent the pain and anguish of those people who are denied a place in the ark, Tubal Cain gets too little screen time.
* Ham somehow manages to sneak into a place a find a girl Na’el who is in despair and just as I thought that the pace was going to pick up as he’s running with her towards the Ark, she gets stuck on a trap and gets killed.
* Noah is portrayed as an asshole. He goes to the extent of stabbing his own grandchildren. Hey, they are newborns. While I tried my best to root for Noah, I completely lost him there with all the shouting and howling and screaming.
* There was hardly a spot where I was able to notice any sort of acting versatility in Russell Crowe. Even during the scene where he kneels down and looks up into the sky in rain. The scene where he tries to stab the newborns looked very similar to the way he stabs Joaquin Phoenix in Gladiator.
* He just looked too bloated and constipated.
* To me none of the acting efforts seemed to pay off well with regard to the overall output of the film. Even during the scene where Naameh screams intensely at Noah, I was too bored and burnt out to be able to appreciate it.
* Emma Watson was okay. Just coz she didn’t torture me too much.
* The cinematography and music scoring was average.
I wonder what the whole purpose of the movie is given its budget. What strong message are they trying to convey? Even in that department the director has goofed up.
There were nine people in the theater for the evening premiere, mostly around age 50. I noticed one person ran out of the movie hall halfway through. I thought he ran away to take a leak but I didn’t see him comeback.
I liked “The Wrestler” for Mickey Rourke’s performance despite its nauseating hand held shots.
Watching Noah heightened my fear of becoming an atheist.
What can I write about a Jew or a Jehovah’s Witness who makes a movie sandwiching it with a subtle sub-text that perhaps a particular “religion” might be the solution for global warming.