HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Morfalous, Les
Dreambuilders
Everything Went Fine
Lux AEterna
Rum Runners
Fairy and the Devil, The
Mad God
Outside the Law
I Remember Mama
Superman Unbound
Lawrence of Belgravia
House Across the Lake, The
Wonder Park
Hornsby e Rodriguez
Operation Mincemeat
5 Kung Fu Daredevil Heroes
Scoob!
Earwig
Offseason
Peau Douce, La
Double Indemnity
Na Cha and the Seven Devils
Deep Murder
Superman vs. the Elite
Adam Project, The
Osamu Tezuka's Last Mystery of the 20th Century
Horse, La
Buffaloed
Train Robbers, The
Let Sleeping Cops Lie
Abominable
Funeral, The
Burning Sea, The
Godzilla Singular Point
Ace of Aces
Innocents, The
Beast and the Magic Sword, The
Last Hard Men, The
Found Footage Phenomenon, The
Night Trap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  Noah There's gonna be a floody-floody
Year: 2014
Director: Darren Aronofsky
Stars: Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Ray Winstone, Anthony Hopkins, Emma Watson, Logan Lerman, Douglas Booth, Nick Nolte, Frank Langella, Mark Margolis, Leo McHugh Carroll, Marton Csokas, Finn Wittrock, Madison Davenport, Gavin Casalegno
Genre: Drama, Historical, Fantasy, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  8 (from 4 votes)
Review: As a boy, Noah (Russell Crowe), descended from the line of Seth, brother of the slain Abel, saw his father killed by descendants of the first murderer, Cain. Since then he and his devoted wife Naameh (Jennifer Connelly) have eked out a humble yet righteous existence midst the ravaged wilderness whilst the spawn of Cain terrorize the earth with wickedness. One day Noah receives a vision from Creator that the world will be cleansed of sin with an apocalyptic flood only to be born anew. He is tasked with building an ark into which shall be gathered two of every animal to re-populate this new, better world. Gathering his clan, Noah embarks upon this epic task only to clash with an army led by the tyrannical Tubal-cain (Ray Winstone) and find his zeal to enact the Creator's will could cost him the love of his family.

Mercurial auteur Darren Aronofsky set his sights on adapting the biblical story of Noah and the ark early into his career though it took the unexpected global success of his ballet horror-drama Black Swan (2010) to convince Paramount Pictures to back his audacious, risky vision. Even then the studio briefly wrenched the movie from Aronofsky's hands before poor reactions to test screenings of their alternate version led them to back his original cut. Incorporating not only passages from the Book of Genesis but obscure ancient texts, creation myths from other faiths from around the world and arguably aspects of pulp fantasy fiction, this offbeat, apocalyptic take on a Sunday school staple brings to mind Federico Fellini's description of Satyricon (1969), in concept if not content, as "science fiction of the past." Aronofsky envisions pre-flood planet Earth much like a post-apocalyptic sci-fi film, a harsh, war-ravaged landscape overrun with hack-and-rape happy savages. The inclusion of strange fantastical animals and giant rock-encrusted earthbound angels known as Watchers, voiced by the suitably gravel-toned likes of Nick Nolte and Frank Langella, edges the film further into fanciful territory, closer to a theological science fiction yarn than a thunderous Old Testament epic in the style of Cecil B. DeMille although, make no mistake, Noah does not want for spectacle. An audacious time-lapse journey through the cycle of creation proves one unforgettable high point while the procession of animals arriving at the ark proves as beguiling as the similar sequence in John Huston's otherwise flawed The Bible... In the Beginning (1966). Aronofsky's amazing set-pieces make for a truly cinematic experience that enables us to share in the wonder and dread visited upon the characters.

The core idea of Noah story posits that God sought to wash away all the evil in the world and preserve only the good. For centuries theologians have struggled to reconcile this act of genocide with the Christian conception of a loving God. Yet the Noah story is not self-contained but rather a segment in the vast tapestry of the Old and New Testaments that detail a more complex relationship between mankind and God. For some Aronofsky's attempt to reconcile science with religion, exploring varied interpretations of the creation myth without alienating any specific faith or even aetheistic point of view, smacked of play-it-safe filmmaking. Yet the genius of the narrative resides within the parallel drawn between Noah and God, both fathers whose fierce desire to protect only alienates them from their children. In many ways, despite a comparative lack of screen time and a certain ambiguity about his presence, God is as much the main protagonist here as Noah. The arc of the plot charts his progress from establishing the concept of justice (punishing the guilty) to the concept of mercy (sparing the innocent), in both instances ideas born in reaction to the actions of men. Aronofsky and co-screenwriter Ari Handel imply mankind exerts as much influence upon the Creator as he has on them.

Powerfully and persuasively personified by Russell Crowe, Noah emerges a man capable of great empathy and cruelty in his zeal to do right by the Creator. As with many prophets the struggle to understand God's intentions sparks a conflict between devotion and conscience resulting in Noah's slow transformation from flawed hero to outright antagonist via a post-flood plot twist that while questionable and contrived proves dramatically compelling. The film leaves room for ambiguity and dissenting voices. As Tubal-cain, Ray Winstone (among the few actors able to convincingly go head-to-head with a sword and sandal heavyweight like Crowe) subscribes to the idea that having been abandoned by God men are justified in doing whatever they have to do to survive. That boils down to shallow self-justification for terror, rape, murder and tyranny but Tubal-cain does raise a point when he observes that Noah "fills his ship with beasts while letting children drown." Fast-rising star Logan Lerman also excels as Ham, the most conflicted of Noah's sons, who struggles to reconcile his memory of a loving father with the man who seemingly intent on foiling his every chance at happiness, rendering him a stunted adolescent.

Yet one would argue the film's most notable triumph lies in restoring the importance of women in this story. As Noah's wife Naameh and adopted daughter Ila respectively, Jennifer Connelly and Emma Watson argue the cause for humanity, recognizing virtue where Noah is in danger of defining mankind solely through sin, and ultimately a more compassionate interpretation of God's will. Watson's Ila has her own mini-arc and proves the key to unlocking Noah's soul, resulting in alternately tender and tense scenes with Crowe that culminate in a climax not unlike that of The Searchers (1956). As with many a biblical epic there is the odd giggle-inducing moment (e.g. two characters sharing a hasty shag in the woods; Winstone's unintentional football reference when he roars: "Men united are invincible!") and Aronofsky's all-encompassing approach occasionally results in muddled theology. Yet the attempt to grapple with so many conflicting interpretations of the text is admirably ambitious. For all the minor missteps, Noah remains a laudable revitalized take on the biblical epic but also a rare challenging, intelligent fantasy blockbuster driven by a singular, provocative, creative vision rather than by committee. You can't please all the people all the time but you can make them think. Music by Clint Mansell which proves as pleasingly experimental as the film itself.


Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 3250 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Darren Aronofsky  (1969 - )

American writer and director, whose low budget science fiction film Pi was much praised. He followed it with Requiem for a Dream, an equally intense drug addiction story, with the long-awaited but unsuccessful sci-fi epic The Fountain arriving in 2006. Downbeat drama The Wrestler was Oscar-nominated, suggesting he was fulfilling his early promise, and Natalie Portman won an Oscar for his ballet horror Black Swan. His eccentric Biblical epic Noah met with a mixed reaction to say the least, though that was nothing compared to mother!, his other Bible pic.

 
Review Comments (2)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
Andrew Pragasam
Graeme Clark
Mary Sibley
  Desbris M
  Sheila Reeves
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: