Noah makes waves

Photo obtained

Photo obtained

Joseph Mandelbaum
Multimedia Producer

The trend of biblical blockbusters seems to have reached its fruition with the release of the global box-office hit ‘Noah’ starring Russell Crowe and Jennifer Connelly. The film succeeds on the levels of being a well-crafted, well-scripted, and well-acted movie even with its’ deviances from the source material.

The plot is common knowledge. God warns Noah of a coming flood that will destroy everything on earth. He is ordered to build an ark to save his family and two of every animal. Where the film differs is with introductions of a distinct archenemy of Noah who tries to thwart him, Methuselah, rock angels that help build the ark, and personal family drama to name a few.

Suffice to say the film uses the general Noah story as an outline to flesh out its’ own movie. A risky move which apparently paid off with the help of an aggressive ad campaign.

The flood only occurs roughly two-thirds the way through the film, leaving a large chunk of story left despite not having much to work with. This part of the film becomes the edgiest and most compelling of the film.

Darren Aronofsky, known for Requiem for a Dream, Black Swan, and Pi, directs this Bible epic despite being a self-described atheist. The film barely secularizes the story at all though and is very religious and spiritual with its’ deviances being in the story, not the religiousness. So far it is being seen by many Christian groups across the country as a worthy adaption of the Genesis story.

The message of the film is an interesting and relevant one. Noah and his family are shown as vegetarians and as sort of seminal environmentalists with the destroyed being the opposite. This is the main theme of the film, giving it, if nothing else, social relevance.

The film is a hit at the box office with nonreligious and some religious audiences alike with the likely reason being the timeliness and universality of the themes. Opinion on the film is divided in the religious community with some endorsing and others deriding.

The acting is superb with Russell Crowe delivering the most compelling performance of the cast as a conflicted and human Noah adding a layer of humanity to the film that would be lacking without him while the rest of the cast do not disappoint.

Films most often disappoint because of a misunderstanding of what it is trying to accomplish. If you expect this to be a CGI heavy, well-acted, edgy, compelling, and immensely thought-provoking film with deviances from the its’ source material that sticks with you after you have seen it then you won’t be disappointed.