So this afternoon we discovered our local independent cinema and spent part of our day-off with Aronofsky’s Noah.
Noah is an ambitious piece, set initially in a scorched, desolate post-apocalyptic world. Think very flat, low budget, Mordor country. There are some bold and ingenious script moments, but also some flat, unhelpfully slow and disappointing cul de sacs.
The growl of Ray Winston’s character baying, “don’t be afraid!” is engaging from beginning to end.
The brilliance of Jennifer Connelly articulating the struggle and bargaining pain of Mrs Noah is centre piece.
The journey of the sons into their directed pathways and consequences are well described.
Noah’s unresolved steadfastness means he holds to task, though tortured as to what should result; helpfully this movie rarely defaults to requiring us to like him. Noah isn’t portrayed as a sweet natured zoo keeper with a wisdom beard, rather as one painfully seized by dream patterns and ‘Mad Max’ style obedience.
The ark is square and chunky with dashes of molasses. The closing rainbow scenes are awkwardly clichéd as other moments esp. the water trickles becoming abounding rainforest provision in minutes, may frustrate. Those who welcome creative licence and the neat-necks who require theological purity will surely war.
Its a slow starter, and ‘the watchers’ offer an interesting robotic-dinosaur-warrior companionship in the fulfilled mission of God. Winstone provides a compelling nemesis to Russell Crowe’s, Noah with poignant overlays on the formative language of their early years. There are layered traits that Noah discerns in himself. For “the wickedness is not just in them; It is in all of us,”
Krish Kandiah has suggested five reasons as to why this is worth 139 minutes of your time. The water rises, the animals are manifestly present and the challenge of Genesis restarted is clearly seen. Wounding, guilt, loss and punishment are explored; with mercy and love in attendance.
For me this movie is a cultural gift as a credible engagement with biblical action. It’s got it all with flawed humanity and the hope of a new day. It’s gritty, adventurous and challenging stuff. Very much like the life of faith.