By Devang Pathak (India)


How we love those big budget Hollywood movies. Either aliens are attacking the Earth and our heroes are trying to save it or there is going to be the normal “End Of The World” powered with mind boggling CGI. Darren Aronofsky’s Noah is thankfully a little bit more than that.

For every Non-Christian out there, this movie is not based on logic. It is based on the teachings of the Bible which differ vividly from the scientific and historical proof available. There will be things you will not understand and that is by design. The intention is to soak the viewer in completely in this tale and make them surrender unto the film’s own logic which is partially achieved.

Noah is Aronofsky’s most and perhaps last mass-friendly film. He addresses certain dark and artistic themes but does not explore them to fruition which is expected when one makes a biblical blockbuster Hollywood style. It is one of the best uses of 3-D technology that I have ever seen but a few CGI moments leave more to be desired.

Acting? Should I even go there? Did we care about the actors in 2012 even if one of the leads went on to gain an Oscar nomination 4 years later? The thumb rule would be to ignore them and gasp at the visual wonders offered. But Noah is beautiful because it defies that. The film is held together by the actors with special mention for Russell Crowe.

Ridley Scott’s Gladiator would have been a very different film without Russell Crowe. Noah reminds us again why. He is able to seep beneath your skin and engross you. He is terrifying and weak, strong and helpless at the same time. You like him, hate him, pity him and rebuke him, but by the end, you understand him. The supporting cast of Jennifer Connelly, the great Ray Winstone and the always dependable Anthony Hopkins make a lasting impression too.

Noah is not without its flaws but what makes it so impressive is its scale – both visually and thematically. You cannot make a Bible movie with idealism in the 21st Century and Darren understands that completely. The themes and messages are chosen appropriately to provoke a debate in the mind of every person who sees this film.

As a viewer of popcorn cinema, I was thoroughly satisfied. But as a cinema lover, I sought more truth and honesty. My guess is that the director had to make these sacrifices in the commercial interests of the film to satisfy the “adventure” hormone majority of the movie lovers possess. The perception of it being a commercial and mass friendly film is vital to get a large audience and stimulate their brains with the messages. This conundrum of the film maker is justified and I hope the choice was well worth it.

If I had to pick my favourite Russell Crowe film, it would be hands down A Beautiful Mind. I liked Gladiator but I never really got why he won an Oscar for it and not Mind. Could anyone else play John Nash? Maybe. But can anyone else play Maximus Decimus? No. Gladiator was not the usual design for Oscar glory. But it was Crowe who was the heart of the film. The same is true for Noah.

It is not the great film you expect, but nevertheless get. I hope to see it remembered 8 months later too and lauded. Go watch it for a stimulating repainting of one of the world’s most famous myths. I urge you to try and find a difference between Noah’s world and our world presently. Morally and religiously, I draw a blank.


Rating: 3/5



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