Monday, 29 December 2014

MOVIE MONDAY - NOAH

“Often it does seem such a pity that Noah and his party did not miss the boat.” - Mark Twain

We watched Darren Aronofsky’s 2014 film “Noah” at the weekend. It was based on a screenplay by Darren Aronofsky and Ari Handel, and starred Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Anthony Hopkins, Ray Winstone, Emma Watson, and Logan Lerman. Aronofsky is no novice to film-making, he has directed a good lot of movies, just to remind you: “Black Swan” (2010); “The Wrestler” (2008); “The Fountain” (2006); “Requiem for a Dream” (2000) and “Pi” (1998). Some of these were very good, however, I am afraid “Noah” falls into the dud category…


The film was controversial and many people became furious as it was not in line with Biblical teaching and there were numerous discussions on religious grounds, with many objections raised to the film bandying about with the word of God. For me more objectionable was the terrible mish-mash of the story with fragments all strewn together to try and make of it something that would succeed at the box-office. There was something there regarding the environment and vegetarianism, violence and pacifism, religion and obeying God, but there was also a lot about fanaticism and downright madness…


Noah is portrayed as a religious nut who is dooming a world of men to death because of something he believes God communicated to him in a dream. Noah becomes obsessed with saving all of the animals and of ending man’s time on Earth. He sits and watches many terrible things happen and then he also commits terrible acts simply because he wants mankind’s time to end on earth. This is surely something that must have rankled greatly with the believers of biblical teachings as divine truth.


The script is loaded with ridiculous baggage, not the least of which is the bad guy Tubal-Cain and the action-hero petrified disobedient giant angels turned into good guys. There were battle and action sequences to please the young crowd who expects them and there was populist environmental messages that were thought would please the greenie organic crowd that loves animals and thinks “meat is murder”.


The acting is annoyingly “straight” and it’s not only Ham that hams his part up (sorry, pun intended!). The CGI special effects look fake and the direction is turgid. Did I mention that we did not like this film? However, the movie had a budget of $125 million and made $359 million. I guess that means there was a profit. If it were a better film, I am sure that the profit would have been double or triple that. Noah’s story is a vivid episode of the Old Testament and most cultures have a deluge myth, beginning with the Mesopotamians, the Ancient Greeks and Native Americans. This indicates the universal appeal such a story has and how much more popular a well-made such modern film would have been.


This was a portmanteau movie designed to cash in on as much as possible of the public’s irrational viewing demands. It lacked humour, although it scored high on the ridiculometer. It lacked piety although it abounded on religiosity. It lacked good acting and good direction, although it had good actors and a competent director. It wasted a couple of our hours and entertainment it certainly wasn’t…

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