Noah Way, Jose – A review of Noah

Jennifer Connelly and Russell Crowe star in Noah, an epic story of the destruction of Earth by flood waters as told in the Bible.  This movie bears limited resemblance to the biblical tale.
Jennifer Connelly and Russell Crowe star in Noah, an epic story of the destruction of Earth by flood waters as told in the Bible. This movie bears limited resemblance to the biblical tale.

Title: Noah

Production Company: Paramount Pictures

Run Time: 138 minutes

Rated: PG-13

Director: Darren Aronofsky

Stars: Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Emma Watson, Ray Winstone, Logan Lerman, Anthony Hopkins

2 stars for Noah

Summary: The Bible contains a plethora of stories that would resonate on the big screen, but even the venerable book can become victim to Hollywood’s excess and rewriting of a classic tale of sin and retribution.

Why does Hollywood always feel the need to change the outcome of every book or story it rewrites?

Far too often, whenever Hollywood writers and directors get their hands on a book or short story, they routinely change the ending (or sometimes the entire tale) in their efforts to promote originality for their movie going audiences.

After all, what fun is it when audiences already know the ending of the story, right?

On the other hand, when we’re familiar with the ending, it doesn’t always detract from the movie going audience’s experience. Case in point: We all knew Titanic would sink, but the movie was still incredibly popular.

So, now, along comes Darren Aronofsky, who was the creative mind behind the uber-chilling Black Swan a couple of years ago that turned Star Wars teen queen Natalie Portman into a disturbed psycho.

Now he’s managed to turn a venerable tale of biblical sin and retribution into a morality play about the failings and frailty of the human condition.

More attention is paid to the efforts to redefine the story of the ark as an environmental parable than the simpler and morally less ambiguous story that we have come to learn from in the classic biblical story from the book of Genesis.

Russell Crowe is a strong and accomplished actor who one could almost believe could be the savior of humanity. That is, until the supernatural elements of the concocted story enter the picture.

To my recollection, Noah and his family built the ark to save humanity and the animals. Here, though, he is assisted by a host of stone giants who are actually fallen angels consigned by the creator to live out their lives encrusted in solid rock.

In that essence, the story is one of redemption, not only for humankind, but for the fallen angels as well.

However, the story deviates from the biblical variant far too significantly once the rains begin to fall and the ark is loaded with its precious cargo. In the biblical story, we know who is on board the vessel. Here though, the passenger list aboard the ark is significantly altered from what we know of history.

I will say this much. The casting is quite impressive. Crowe admirably handles the abortionalized material with gusto and Jennifer Connelly reunites with her A Beautiful Mind co-star with the necessary reverence to portray Noah’s wife Naameh.

It’s not likely that many actresses could believably stand up to Crowe and the creator to voice their own opinions in a tale such as this, but Connelly manages to pull that off with integrity.

Emma Watson plays adopted daughter Ila who is attracted to eldest son Shem, thus establishing one of the younger generations of saved humanity. However, in one of the story arcs, allusions are made that wives must be found for younger siblings Ham and Japheth.

That unfortunately is one element that is not satisfactorily dealt with here. Or perhaps I’m just thinking that the solution is disquieting at best.

Ray Winstone’s character Tubal Cain comes across almost as a caricature of evil in the story. He’s been added as a footnote that the story required someone misguided onto which to hinge the failings of humanity but his character is sorely underutilized.

And Anthony Hopkins, who plays Noah’s grandfather Methuselah is also almost an afterthought. He comes and goes through the first part of the story as a plot exclamation point, adding no true value to the character or the storyline.

The visuals are certainly impressive, but when it comes to the retelling of this story which we all must be familiar with, having heard it at some point in our lives, personally, I say skip this version and read a Good Book instead.

I give Noah 2 out of 5 stars.

Do you like it when Hollywood liberally changes stories and books you've read for the purpose of creating a new theatrical experience?

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Comments 14 comments

amandajoyshapiro profile image

amandajoyshapiro 2 years ago

Your review is on board with other audiences who didn't receive the movie well. Shame all the money to make it and box office doesn't reflect opinions. Lol.


BernietheMovieGuy profile image

BernietheMovieGuy 2 years ago from Syracuse, NY Author

It wasn't at all what I expected, Amanda. It's a shame, too, given the incredible cast. I was bored throughout, though. And the ending just left a sour taste in my mouth. I realize they took artistic license to make the movie, but at least give mankind a reason to be redeemed, not vilified in the end.


BNadyn profile image

BNadyn 2 years ago from Jacksonville, Florida

I was debating if I should spend the time and money to see this movie on the big screen. The casting looks great but I think I'll wait until this goes onto DVD. Voted up and sharing, thanks for the review!


BernietheMovieGuy profile image

BernietheMovieGuy 2 years ago from Syracuse, NY Author

If you love the bible or anything religious this movie is very liberal in it's interpretation of the events surrounding the flood. Save your money.


ironangel89 profile image

ironangel89 2 years ago from United States

I heard it was good if you didn't look at it as a Bible story. Which Aronofsky I think even said he didn't want it to be the Noah of the Bible. He wanted his own artistic interpretation. In that case, why not just rename the characters and then add your own spin to it? I never thought Aronofsky should adapt the story of Noah or any Biblical story for that matter.

It will also be interesting to see how the Exodus movie is at the end of the year by Ridley Scott starring Christian Bale as Moses.


BernietheMovieGuy profile image

BernietheMovieGuy 2 years ago from Syracuse, NY Author

Not inspired by the thought, but then again, we'll see if he's more in tune with the biblical tale than this travesty.


priley84 profile image

priley84 2 years ago from Warner Robins, Ga

Spot on review of this one.

I had hopes for it, but in the end, it was a serious letdown.

I do have one good memory of the movie. I went to see it with my uncle, and in the final ten minutes, he had shut his eyes. He wasn't asleep, he was just tuning out the movie until it was finally (and mercifully) over, lol. :P


BernietheMovieGuy profile image

BernietheMovieGuy 2 years ago from Syracuse, NY Author

I sympathize with his feelings! Thanks for the comment!


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

I was really looking forward to watching this film! lol! no, honestly I don't mind a bit of 'poetic licence'. to be honest most of the bible is based on myths and legends anyway so we may as well follow on with tradition. evidently Noah wasn't even the original guy with the boat, according to archaeologists etc it was someone a thousand years before, called, well, something else! I would imagine the name Noah was added just to give him a name when telling the story, and to be honest, how do we know that the word Noah doesn't just mean 'unknown man' in old language? still going to watch it! lol!


BernietheMovieGuy profile image

BernietheMovieGuy 2 years ago from Syracuse, NY Author

Hope you aren't as bored to tears as I was...Thanks for the comment, Nell!


Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 2 years ago from North Carolina

This review was very helpful. Only confirmed some others... this is one will have to pass on although Crowe's performance may be a redeeming factor despite the supernatural bit as you wrote..


BernietheMovieGuy profile image

BernietheMovieGuy 2 years ago from Syracuse, NY Author

That was just one element that made the plot untenable for me. The performances were spot on, but the whole script just lacked integrty and credibility. Thanks for the comment, Alastar!


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 2 years ago

I am waiting to borrow this movie when available at the local library. Your review reminds me that some movies are just pure entertainment for the purposes of Hollywood's promotional interest. I will consider this movie as one to watch for the entertainment value. Thanks for the review.


BernietheMovieGuy profile image

BernietheMovieGuy 2 years ago from Syracuse, NY Author

Realizing that everyone is entitled to their own interpretation of the events in the bible, Darren Aronofski took a freehand liberal approach to the tale which by itself may not have been bad, but he is toying with familiar territory that people held sacred for time eternal. His approach wasn't particularly a good one. Thanks for the comment!

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