In one of my previous blog posts, I discussed about various versions of the flood myth from around the world, as well as saying that 2014 was the Year of the Biblical Epic for movies. And things have certainly perked up for the genre with the recent release of “Noah”, a fantastical adaptation of the Old Testament story directed by acclaimed filmmaker, Darren Aronofsky. Previously known for his dark and brooding films that pushes the lead characters to their mental or physical limits ("Requiem For A Dream", "The Wrestler", and "Black Swan"), Aronofsky was deemed as an odd choice to helm a story about a man who built a colossal ark to save a precious few from the wrath of God’s divine deluge. Controversy even surrounded the production of the film and led to speculation that it might not translate into a successful piece of work that audiences would flock to see. But a rush of glowing critical reviews and a strong box office opening quashed any initial fears into the rolling waves.
Domestic box office returns for “Noah” reported a vigorous $44 million opening weekend, aided largely by positive early reviews from professional film critics as well as a show of encouraging support from several Christian organizations such as the American Bible Society, the National Catholic Register, and Focus on the Family, who have responded warmly to the film. Starring Academy Award-winner Russell Crowe in the titular role, the film also co-stars Jennifer Connelly as Noah’s wife, Naameh; Anthony Hopkins as Noah’s grandfather, Methuselah; and Emma Watson as Noah’s stepdaughter, Ila. The star-studded cast certainly brought their A-game to Aronofsky’s film as they adequately portray their Biblical characters with aplomb, with critics praising Crowe’s role as Noah.
While the filmmakers certainly took creative liberties from the source material, Aronofsky and his intrepid team wanted to strike the right balance of being respectful to the origins of the story while creating an interpretation to the tale of Noah without being too carried away with superfluous details. Chief among the film’s strong points was the construction of the iconic ark, the strong dynamics between the characters, and of course, the epic flood that washes away the world as Noah and his family brace themselves within the ark that they have worked hard to build from the ground up.
Thrilling, visceral, and completely magnificent in scale, “Noah” is a definite must-see for the whole family considering that Easter is almost right around the corner! See the trailer below for more information on this amazing film!