Well….that turned dark. Noah is a film directed by the usually great Darren Aronofsky. It takes on the story of the title character Noah from The Bible. It isn’t an easy task to do. Taking a story from The Bible that really is only a few pages long and extended it to more than two hours of screen time in movie form. Of course, the story takes liberties and Aronofsky pretty much does what he wants to with the story and you can tell. This movie may be about a story from the Bible; but this is not a religious movie. It is far from it.
Russell Crowe stars as Noah in this movie and it is actually a very challenging role to take on. At first, he is just a man caring for his family while trying to survive. Then, he gets flooded with these visions from “The Creator” (note: no one in this film refers to the religious diety as God) and he gets crippled by the weight of the situation. And that is pretty much the story. There is pretty much a bunch of horrible human beings in the world. And Noah gets visions that the world is going to get wiped out by The Creator. Pretty much a restart button. Noah eventually realizes that he is being tasked to build an Ark, in order to save the innocent from this world to carry on to the new world; this of course refers to animals.
This movie has a lot of weird elements to it. For instance, the start of the movie kind of gives you a brief rundown of the events that transpire before this all takes place. The Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel stuff is an example. But how they show it was kind of odd. It seemed oddly cartoonish in the way they did it. Then there is the whole “rock monster” part. Yes, Aronofsky describes fallen angels as rock monsters. Apparently the were punished by the Creator for not doing what they were told, so now they are encased in rock, with a shiny magic light beaming from their mouths and chests. There is a lot of CGI in this movie and it mostly all looks really good. With the exception of some of the animals, this movie looks pretty damn good.
But, the Lord of the Rings-esque battle scene between the rock monsters and the “villains” of the movie seemed out of place. That is what I mean when I say there were odd elements. This movie tries to be so many things; a family drama, a disaster movie, among others. The battle scene, along with a lot of things in this world Aronofsky has created, seem to add a fantasy vibe to it. But when you watch the movie, you are stuck in that world and it works.
The performances were really great. Especially from Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, and Emma Watson. Logan Lerman’s character pissed me off all movie. Ray Winstone was playing the villain of the movie and he played the role of the dick very well. But Lerman’s character was supposed to be this conflicted and lonely character, but I ultimately didn’t care about him at all. He wanted a wife/to get laid and I couldn’t have cared less. Anthony Hopkins does really well with the scenes he is in (the berries bit was pretty funny). Crowe had to play so many different layers during this movie and he nailed them all. Connelly didn’t have to do much until the final third of the movie. But she definitely showed off her acting skills when she is forced to stand up to her husband, Noah. Watson is good here as well. Pretty much all she has to do is cry a lot, but its effective.
The movie does take a pretty dark turn about halfway in. It pulls a Looper on the audience. If you’ve seen the movie, you’ll know what I mean. They add a section to the plot that I had no idea was in there. And it is dark and forces characters to make very dark and morally grey decisions. Noah himself makes a few shotty calls in this movie that brings some questions up to debate.
But at the end of the movie, I did feel as though something was missing. Maybe not enough emphasis on the ending, maybe something else. I can’t put my finger on it exactly but t was missing something to me. I know, as an Aronofsky fan, that I expect to walk out of a movie of his wondering what the hidden meaning is; but that isn’t the case here. It is a straightforward movie with not much of a deeper meaning. But there still was just something missing. But overall, this movie was still pretty good. It looked good, there were cool action moments, great acting; the movie did drag a few times and took a few dark turns in terms of plot. This is a movie that I can’t say I’d want to see again but it definitely is worth seeing, if its only for the acting performances alone.
WHAT I LIKED:
+: Russell Crowe nailed every layer of this character down. Dedicated, loving, conflicted, etc. He nailed them all.
+: Very good supporting performances from Emma Watson, Jennifer Connelly, and Anthony Hopkins.
+: Ray Winstone plays the dick really well.
+: Beautiful visuals
+: Cool action scenes (I totally loved the rock monsters)
+: The plot takes a turn and gets much darker than I initially thought. It worked. It raises questions and I loved it. Very dark but good.
+: Good moments of characters having to make iffy choices that could either be considered good, bad, or in that moral grey area.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE:
-: Logan Lerman’s character
-: I feel that this movie did, at times, try to be too many things at once.
-: It definitely dragged at certain points in the movie. Another night, and I may have fallen asleep.
-: Something was missing. Emotional weight, emphasis on the ending, or maybe something else entirely. But it was missing…something.