Film Review – Noah (2014): Eddie’s Take

Noah - post

Title – Noah (2014)

Director – Darren Aronofsky (The Fountain)

Cast – Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Emma Watson, Douglas Booth, Logan Lerman, Anthony Hopkins

Plot – It’s the biblical story of Noah (Crowe), Aronofsky style! Tasked by the Creator to build an ark that will withstand an impending flood sent to wipe out mankind, Noah and his family will have to deal with rock guardians, crazed tribal leaders, unplanned pregnancies and a grandfather that sure does like his berries.

 “My father said that one day, if man continued in his ways, the Creator would annihilate this world”

 Review by Eddie on 3/04/2014N1

 Disclaimer: obviously this is not taken from anywhere and is completely made up, although for some reason I can’t help but shake the feeling I might not be far off the actual mark.

Joking aside and getting back on track in regards to the task at hand; Darren Aronofsky’s dream project of turning the few chapters long Biblical tale of Noah into a full length feature film has taken narrative license to an all new level, with a much longer seeming 2 hour epic that gives us Noah as we’ve never seen him before, rock monsters included!

Having the dubious honour of containing this year’s first stand out cringe-worthy scene in the form of a berry hunting Anthony Hopkins, Noah is also a film that makes the statement of “It’s not about the journey it’s about the destination” seem tailor made for it, for upon films end there is no denying what you have just witnessed is a film of much wrong doing yet a film of much virtue. In tailoring the simple story of Noah into something much larger, Aronofsky has clearly bitten off more than his talented teeth can chew and ends up with a film that is at times unbelievably lame and in the next moment jaw-droppingly awesome.

Always a keen eye for the beauty in films from his very first film PINoah allows Aronofsky’s dreams to run wild on screen with stark barren landscapes, animal infested waters, life springing forth from nothing and perfectly framed shots of Russell Crowe and his ever impressive facial fuzz just some of the highlights that make Noah a big screen must despite its many narrative missteps. All this beauty that Aronofsky captures is complemented by some fine all round performances, in particular from grizzled lead Crowe who delivers what could be his best performance since A Beautiful Mind and Jennifer Connolly who again proves to us that she’s one of the most powerful actresses in the business. Emma Watson is again solid as the new addition to the tale Ila with Logan Lerman, Anthony Hopkins and the misplaced cockney gangster that is Ray Winstone’s Tubal-cain letting the team down in the acting stakes.

With so much going on in this picture it’s hard to pinpoint what exactly makes it the conflicting type of movie that it is. The first 40 minutes of this film offered nothing to me as a viewer and it’s no wonder some may leave before the floods hit (as some kin of my co-blogger Jordan actually did, read his Noah take here) yet as mentioned earlier the end is what makes the journey worth it and the way in which Noah ties up its tale is without a doubt in my mind quietly powerful and relevantly thought provoking.

This is not the Bible Noah, but Aronofsky’s Noah, and only the years to follow will allow us to truly call Noah a success or a failure and the messing with the tale that at its core is relatively simple (seriously how quick was the ark built here and how long was the arks journey?!) works mainly against the film. I sit firmly on the fence with this well shot and acted film but would easily jump to its defence if someone were to try to demean a film that has many flaws yet more to say than countless other films these days and says them in a frequently eye-popping, stunning way.

3 spiked cups of tea out of 5

Hmmm berries!

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28 responses to “Film Review – Noah (2014): Eddie’s Take

  1. Totally agree with everything you said.

    I enjoyed it for all the wrong reasons lol, and you listd some of them, like the Dead Calm-type plot near the end and the rock monsters were a great surprise. And all the visuals. Great stuff!

    Anthony Hopkins character still confuses me. And he was kind of creepy in a pedophile-uncle type way.

    When everything’s taken into account, it does seem like a wasted opportunity/pointless exercise in terms of storytelling. I reckon they could’ve done something more profound with it.

    I’ve seen the movie twice by the way.

    • Gee twice already must of struck quite a chord with you in some way which is cool to hear.

      Visually the movie is outstanding and in years to come the stranger elements of the piece might become more meaningful or even more random!
      Eddie

  2. Good review, I’m looking forward to this. I wonder if anyone ever paid attention to that Genesis passage “and there were giants in those days.” Something like that, I’m not much of a biblical scholar, but apparently Mr. Aronofsky gave his view of this.

    • Hi mate, seems like he took some obscure references to fallen angels as his inspiration for the Rock Monsters or Watchers. He pretty much made a whole new story up which at times isn’t to bad a thing.
      Eddie

      • I shall give it a shot, indeed. I have no religious predisposition to work up a good old fashioned “crucified” rant. 🙂

    • Yeh make a call either way, pick a side and go with it! Did seem to not want to offend any minority which makes it a little less impactful. Cheers for the comment Cindy.
      Eddie

  3. Took me FOREVER to write anything about this, man. This was a really strange experience. I think you’re right on the money about not being able to pinpoint down specifically one or two things that make Noah a controversial piece. It was a great deviation from a potential story many were expecting to witness. All the same, I actually really enjoyed it.

    • Same Tom, it’s sweet to hear someone very much in the same (please excuse this) boat. I am looking forward to catching this again down the line and revaluating some thoughts concerning it.
      Eddie

    • Hmm. Tom your remarks remind me of something a friend of mine said about Dark Shadows movie: “I know I was supposed to laugh at this scene, but it wasn’t all that funny to me.” She could not put her finger on why the film was meh. Sometimes a film just doesn’t have that zing to it I suppose. Don’t know. Just an opinion. I drank a lot of coffee this morning so I’m opinionated on everything. Never mind.

  4. “The Fountain” has many detractors–critics and average viewers alike. However, I am very appreciative of this film. It’s a thinking man’s film, obviously. And that excludes a good many people, unfortunately. The only other Darren Aronofsky films I have seen (on DVD) are “Pi,” “Requiem for a Dream,” and “Black Swan.” These films are excellent, and are a bit more mainstream in terms of narrative, which ensured a certain degree of popularity. I have not yet seen “The Wrestler,” and will have to wait until “Noah” is available on DVD before I view it. I am a bit nervous about “Noah,” but I will definitely form my own opinion once I have that opportunity. I do have a considerable amount of faith in Aronofsky. And while it’s true that a director can tackle a mega-project that is beyond his reach, I believe Aronofsky is quite an intellectual, and is endowed with a well of talent. So, for now, I’m giving him the benefit of a doubt.

    • Livid fantastic thoughts, The Wrestler is one you should track down it’s a great piece. Look forward to hearing what you think about this one down the track and there is no doubt that Aronofsky is a very intellectual person and deep thinker.
      Eddie

  5. Good review Eddie. It’s a very strange movie that makes it seem like Aronofsky messed-around with maybe one too many times. However, it still intrigued the hell out of me.

    • Intriguing is a great way to put it man, I find myself thinking upon still days after seeing it and that is a sign of at least some form of success I think or complete badness.
      Eddie

  6. No mention of God? I must say, that’s a rather odd choice of omissions what with him being the one told Noah to build the ark for protection from the flood he sent and all.

    • Very strange man he is called only the “creator” that way all faiths can seemingly enjoy the tale and not be offended. By the way man love your display picture, Fallout 3 is just awesome in so many ways.
      Eddie

      • Why thank you, I am rather fond of Fallout myself. Anyway, I do understand wanting to avoid the YHWH thing as the most pious Jews won’t dare utter that name. On the other hand, said groups tend to also be forbidden to view electronic media. What is rather ironic is how the Noah was banned in Indonesia because of their blasphemy laws, so to do such a movie you have to cross some major lines in the first place.

  7. Nice review Eddie. I agree with pretty much everything you said, especially about the lusciousness of Crowe’s beard. I think I ended up liking it a little more than you though. There are definitely missteps. But it is cool to see such a big budget flick that is so full of ideas. That aspect was definitely a surprise, as I feared that the story would get hijacked by a studio intent on catching the American fundamentalist Christian crowd. If that is what they were after, not sure this is what they had in mind. Which is great.

  8. Pingback: Film Review – Noah (2014): Jordan’s Take | Jordan and Eddie (The Movie Guys)·

  9. I found myself liking the film more, the more I thought about it. I was immediately turned off with the philosophically and religiously problematic opening “In the beginning was nothing” but by the end was convinced I had seen a very thoughtful film based around some pretty heavy questions. Good review. Captured a lot of my experience.

    • It was by far one of his better roles of the last few years if not decade. He reminds us here that given the right role he is mightily powerful as an actor.
      Eddie

  10. Eddie. Great review! I agree with your far more then I do with Jordan, who sometimes can appear to let little things ruin good entertainment. Russell Crowe was great. As a whole the movie had its flaws, but theres still a lot to enjoy in this film. Some may be offended with the liberties taken to the bible story, but just because they aren’t mentioned in the bible doesn’t mean they didn’t happen..

    • Great to hear man, one thing for sure it is pretty memorable for better or worse, I can’t imagine the bible version of Noah being to thrilling. 2 hours of someone building a boat doesn’t make a interesting movie.
      Eddie

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