Cinematic Releases: Noah

Visionary director Darren Aronofsky washes ashore with his masterful Noah film this week.

"My name is Javert!!!!"
Noah perfectly balances the age old tale with elements of fantasy and a cast that does their damnedest to break free of everything they've done before. 

After a 4 year absence, Mr. Aronofsky presents a film that is going to divide audiences with his own unique spin on the tale of Noah and his ever so legendary Ark. Instead of treading water under the guise of a straight biblical tale, he mixes in large battle sequences, a phenomenal soundtrack, overwhelmingly devout performances, wondrous effects, and beautiful landscapes, while still keeping the core tale of God's heavy handed wrath and the ultimate destruction of human kind fully intact. 

What will probably go down as Aronofsky's most accessible movie is sure to cause havoc in the church community as he does his fair share of questioning Noah's level of sanity as this movie paints the brutality of human kind in a not so pretty light. If you thought this was going to be a straight up big budget blockbuster, your assumptions were totally wrong. This is how a VISIONARY takes a known story and alters it to not only his own motivations, but to make it an across the board cinematic event full of color, vast landscapes, human character and often times challenging/topical themes about mankind.

Yet, what truly separates Noah from Aronofsky's past work is the reliance on an almost straight forward story about a man doing God's work by building a boat to save all other living creatures from the oncoming apocalypse. This is a total departure from his more eccentric films of the past. However, just like his other works, we get to see all sides of human kind: good, evil, and possibly insane. Many will not be happy with the presentation of Noah as a heavy handed, obsessive, and often times violent ark builder, but this guy was absolutely fine with it. This is where reality comes in to play. If any real life man was tasked with the challenge of creating a massive floating structure in the hopes of saving the animal kingdom from certain extinction, he just might go a little batty while getting trippy visions and messages from the man upstairs. 

If you can accept Noah as it is, you'll be fine. The movie is not about questioning anyone's faith. It's all about moving forth with a challenging premise and bringing it a large scale audience that has been groomed to expect big budget effects, global flooding, and expansive battle sequences (that look awesome, by the way). For Aronofsky, this was probably his biggest challenge yet. As a master of cinema, he had to take a huge step back to make something that could transcend his rabid fan base and audiences at large. 

-Chris George