Dalton’s Cinema Spot- Noah

Daltons Cinema Spot- Noah

PG-13, 139 minutes

Starring- Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Ray Winstone

4/ 5 Stars


          Let me start by saying, this is by no means Ben-Hur or The Ten Commandments as far as Biblical epics are concerned, but that I feel is to be expected. Noah is completely different from those past epics, but in a surprisingly good way. Russell Crowe is the titular hero who, after understanding a message from the Creator encoded inside a dream, realizes that the Creator plans to flood the world and destroy all of mankind thanks to man’s wickedness. Noah sets out to build an ark and save the innocent animals of the land along with his family. But while building, he must face odds with the villainous descendant of Caine, Tubal-caine (Winstone) who plans to seize the ark for himself.

If anyone has seen director Darren Aronofsky’s other films such as 2000’s Requiem for a Dream or 2010’s Black Swan, they should go into Noah with expectations of seeing something weird and weird is what they will get. This is a very weird film thanks in part to the general source material itself but also in part to Aronofsky’s direction utilizing quick edits showcasing the creation  and eventual destruction of Earth, extreme close up shots, and thundering score accompanied throughout. But, weird is not bad. On the contrary, the weird direction and tone actual helps propel this movie to be a very strong epic and better differentiating itself from seeming like a copy of other Biblical tales.

Noah is also set apart thanks to its fragile, human protagonist. Unlike in Ben-Hur and The Ten Commandments, Crowe portrays Noah as being very human. He has flaws and becomes angry and throws things (kind of like Russell Crowe himself) but it shows that Noah isn’t a godly, all around saintly man that legendary actor Charlton Hesston portrayed Judah Ben-Hur or Moses as. Crowe allows the audience to feel sympathy and anger towards the conflicted hero and does a beautiful job of oozing power, frailty, and humility, and takes a step away from some of his phoned in acting performances seen in 2012’s Les Miserables. And do not forget about the women! Connelly as Noah’s wife is heartfelt and dynamic while Emma Watson playing as Noah’s adopted daughter gives a performance that would stun anyone who’s known her purely as Hermione Granger. Dumbledore would have awarded her acting ten points to Gryffindor!    

The film remains true to its Biblical source material but is also liberal is allowing its own unique take without feeling overly preachy on a Christian based tale. In fact, if anything, Noah presents a message of environmentalism over divine intervention, at the same time touting Biblical messages.  Aronofsky has brought the Biblical epic to the 21st century with great force, even if the nearly two and a half hour movie feels about as long as previous over three hour epics. Noah, despite some pacing problems and at times cheesy visuals, is an epic to appease Christians and non-Christians alike, which is a very rare thing it feels in this day and age.