I’m a mad sucker for any end-of-the-world disaster movie, and a mad sucker for Jennifer Connolly and Emma Watson. Combine these things with Russell Crowe, Darren Aronofsky and one of the oldest stories of all time, Noah is nothing if not epic.
Many of the reviews I’ve read since its release have focused on the controversy and accuracy (or lack of) on how the film has compared with the original story. Not only do I know nothing about the original story besides tidbits of what I can remember from bible classes in primary school, I also do not care enough to use it as the basis of my review simply because the film is an interpretation and people can interpret it however they damn well choose.
Instead I’m going to tell you a story about this amazing as hell film I saw on Wednesday night.
In a world ravaged by human sin, Noah (Russell Crowe in a performance that made me forget how obnoxious and egotistic he is in real life) is given a divine mission: to build an ark to save creation from the coming flood. Along with his wife (Connolly), his three sons (Douglas Booth, Logan Lerman and Leo McHugh Carrol) and Ila (Watson), Noah sets out to build a fricken massive boat that they load with animals of all creation before the rain comes. Guided by dreams, Noah is absolutely focused on completing his task, which we learn involves Noah’s family dying to complete the end of mankind. Not only do Noah and his family have to beat the rain, they also have to fend off the threat of Tubal-cain and his men who will perish when the rain comes if they don’t take over the ark.
The story allows us to imagine the deep struggles Noah may have had to wrestle with as he sets out to complete the task the creator gave him. At times Noah comes across as a crazed lunatic rather than a man ruled by dogmatic thought processes, which is absolutely intentional. It gave the story some genuity and allowed you to see how much this task has taken over Noah’s life – nothing was more important.
There are certain scenes in the movie the stand out to me involving spectacular acting from the cast. There is a scene when Jennifer Connolly masters the ugly cry and she’s got tears and snot all over her beautiful face and it’s amazing. There’s another scene when Emma Watson is screaming and pleading with Noah and the pain she is feeling insides makes your heart hurt and makes you remind yourself not to be one of those people who cries in movie theatres. She is heading for Oscar greatness. Logan Lerman is also one of those not yet well-known actors who I am obsessed with (have you seen Perks of Being a Wallflower?!), and his anguish as Noah’s son Ham is painful and sad and I found myself pleading with him to not go against his father and to just be good.
Whether you see this film out of curiosity or because of your own beliefs, I’m sure you will have an opinion about it. You will certainly have an opinion about the Transformers rock angel things at least. Either way, the effects, the acting and the story are all very good, and I implore you to go see it with an open mind.