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May 13, 2016

Noah (2014)
Director: Darren Aronofosky
Actors: Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Emma Watson

Noah-costume-350x214.png (350×214)

Synopsis: After receiving visions from the ‘Creator’ about an impending apocalyptic flood, Noah (Russell Crowe) starts building an ark to preserve all the different species of the world….

Review: Absolutely barmy – but equally enjoyable and entertaining – Darren Aronofsky’s take on the biblical story of “Noah’s Ark” intuitively imagines the whole saga within the grammar of a more familiar fantasy-action, Lord of the Rings-style universe.

The film’s first few moments reveal this tactic: from the regular trope of a seminal father slaying creating an echoing theme of “parental angst”, to the scorched, quasi-apocalyptic setting (à la The Road, I Am Legend etc.) to the strange imagining of Noah’s ‘guardian angels’ (aka the “Watchers”) as CGI rock-people that look like they came straight off the Peter Jackson factory or from one of the Transformers films.

Playing the story of Noah as a proto-genre flick does bring its unintentional chuckles – Ray Winstone’s cockney intonations as the villainous descendent of Cain are comic gold-dust – but in a way, the hammy treatment accorded the story is strangely in keeping with an Old Testament fable; after all, the Old Testament is perhaps the most preposterous, grandiose and tyrannical of texts ever written. (May 2016)

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