By Linda Tran
Whether or not you grew up with Bible stories, Noah’s Ark is one that is known by Christians and non-Christians alike: a man is chosen by God to build a large vessel to carry two of each animal, before God sends a flood to wash away the world that has become so wicked (and start anew with the help of Noah’s family).
Having grown up with Bible stories being told to me, I was incredibly excited to see this film. It combined a well-known story with great special effects and Russell Crowe! What more could be asked for? However, if I were to be completely honest, this film left me with mixed feelings. On the one hand it was cinematically great: amazing effects, beautiful panoramic shots, great casting and acting, and dramatic/suspenseful moments. However on the other, it was clear that Aronofsky took large amounts of creative license with it. If you also grew up with this story, it becomes clear that the film itself was incredibly loosely based on the Bible story. A lot of extra plot lines and extra character developments were added to keep the film going – and although it worked, I can tell some people may not be completely happy. I guess you can’t please everyone.
Bias aside, the film was still amazing to watch. As mentioned, it included beautiful landscape views and great dramatic suspense. Casting was brilliant – whether it was Russell Crowe bringing Noah to life, or the amazing believability of Jennifer Connelly, the level of acting quality was incredibly high. No matter how many films she’s been in, Emma Watson never ceases to surprise me. Even though she will always be Hermione to me, it is clear that she is successfully breaking out of that typecast and into more mature and raw characters.
The only critical note I have is that the film seemed like it took a while to end, as the climactic moment wasn’t made very clear. With that confusion, I felt as if there was no real ‘resolution’ in the story, but that might just be me. The storylines post-flood storms felt like it dragged out too long – which made it look like the film was grasping to keep the run-time to last as long as possible, which in turn made the climactic moments of the film feel like let-downs.
All in all, despite my mixed feelings, Noah was an enjoyable film full of great cinematic moments. If you want to see a film with great actors, beautiful scenes, battles, love, and perseverance lessons – then this is the film for you. However if you were looking forward to this because it seems like it’s about Noah’s Ark, just be ready for a film that is extremely loosely based and directed/produced/written by a self-proclaimed Atheist.