Noah

┬áDirector, Darren Aronofsky, has made a brilliant career on creating distinctive indie films that follow characters on the verge of self-destruction. His films are always visually and emotionally gripping, and they become a surreal experience that dives head first into the sometimes disturbed psyche of its characters. When watching anyone of his films from his excellent filmography, the stories and the characters are sure to stay with you long after you finished the film(s). Aronofsky’s cinematic style, technique, and storytelling will leave a mark on you; which is why his films are some of the most memorable contemporary films to date. His work has always challenged him artistically, and his newest film might be his most challenging and ambitious one yet. Although, much of his work has had religious undertones, people were genuinely surprised when Aronofsky announced that his next directorial project would see him interpreting one of the Bible’s story. While there are many skeptics out there, if you follow what drives Aronofsky as an artist you will realize that he is the ideal choice for retelling and reinterpreting Noah’s story.

Russell Crowe in Noah

Russell Crowe in Noah

Darren Aronofsky has been prepping Noah for a long time now. Even before there was a script for his new blockbuster biblical tale. When he was thirteen years-old, Aronofsky entered a poetry contest at his school that he ended up wining. That poem was about Noah, and that win gave him the confidence to become a writer. From hearing the story for the first time to writing the poem, Noah has resonated with Aronofsky. Fast-forward to now, and it is easy to see why this story has been a passion project of his. Noah, which can be found in the book of Genesis, follows Noah (Russell Crowe)- a man that was chosen by God to save the good of humanity before a flood comes that will destroy the world.

Noah is a whirlwind of ambition, emotion, imagination, intensity, and heart. It’s bold and beautiful. Hypnotic and brutal, but above all, it is always awe-inspiring and thought provoking. Darren Aronofsky allows Noah to take its time to establish its insightful message, and along the way, he is also able to take characters that are mythical and make them into real people. The psyche of all of the characters are on display, and each of them are represented in an intelligent manner. The visuals and high production value are nothing short of amazing. The CGI used in the film are carefully crafted and are used in a manner that adds to the mystique of the Noah story. Also with the beautiful cinematography, another fantastic score from the great Clint Mansell, and just all around captivating style the movie aggressively sweeps the audience into experiencing an array of emotions. It is the blockbuster genre at its finest. Noah proves that blockbusters does not have to be mindless entertainment. There is style and substance. Meaning and purpose. Thanks to his grittiness and uniqueness, Aronofsky has left his stamp on a genre and has made Noah feel more relevant than ever.

Despite the fact that Noah is extremely bold and ambitious in every aspect, Darren Aronofsky is able to stay true to himself as a filmmaker. His directing is as infectious as ever, and among the massive sets and the magnificent special effects, there is a primal story on display. From taking a mere two pages from the Bible and adapting it to fit into his cinematic world, Aronofsky has masterfully (re)told a story about humanity’s morality, mortality, second chances, and wickedness. He is able to dive into the psychology of the tale, and add his own spin to it. Compared to other versions of Noah, Aronofsky’s vision has more of an earthiness to it. As Aronofsky highlights environmentalism, the film’s message and purpose becomes all the more urgent and vital. Through excellent symmetry and symbolism, Aronofsky is able to challenge his audience to engage with the characters and their actions. He forces us to look at the brightest and darkest aspect of human nature, and makes us come up with our own interpretations.

Among the sublime imagery, are grounded performances that anchor the film. The commanding Russell Crowe provides a compelling performance as Noah. He is emotionally strong and vulnerable in his performance, and takes the Noah mythology and provides it with an interpretation that is heartfelt. When watching Crowe in the film, he will remind you what a fine dramatic actor he is. Next to Crowe is the elegant Jennifer Connelly as Noah’s wife and the beautiful Emma Watson as Ila, who collectively bring the film warmth and love. Their performances are filled with hopefulness that is tragically surrounded by despair. We come to expect this from the talented Connelly, and she does definitely deliver the goods. As for Watson, it is great to see her challenge herself as an actor in her post-Harry Potter career. In fact, she delivers a solid performance that resonates with the audience, and adds another intriguing element to the film. Also Noah receives fine performances from young actors Logan Lerman and Douglas Booth. They play Noah’s sons in the film, and both young men hold their own with the rest of the cast. These two men especially shine when they interact with Crowe, and they both establish gripping father and son relationships. The film also receives a boost from the reliable Ray Winstone as the villainous Tubal-Cain. He makes for a worthy adversary and has riveting chemistry with the Noah clan. These performances make Noah more intimate and really helps the film overcome some shortcomings.

Despite some minor bumps along the way, Darren Aronofsky has breathed new life into the Biblical genre by making a fascinating epic that is grand in its scope and purpose. Noah is boldly ambitious, and is an experience that is as personal as it is cinematic. Aronofsky has made this film for believers and nonbelievers, and has truly made an insightful blockbuster that never fails to bore its audience. Noah is the first film of 2014 that will be sure to leave many divided; however, it is also the first film of 2014 that will not only stay with you after you leave the theater, but will also make you want to engage in conversation. Now, that my friends, is the gospel.

The cast includes: Russell Crowe (The Gladiator), Jennifer Connelly (Requiem For a Dream), Emma Watson (This Is The End), Logan Lerman (The Perks of Being a Wallflower), Douglas Booth (Romeo and Juliet), Ray Winstone ( The Departed), and Anthony Hopkins (Thor). It was written by Darren Aronofsky and Ari Handel. It was directed by Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan).

 

3.5 out of 4 stars

-By Louie Coruzzolo

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One Response to Noah

  1. […] this year, we had a great biblical epic in the form of Darren Aronofsky’s Noah. In that adaptation, Aronofsky was able to recreate the story of Noah by inserting his own unique […]

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