Darren Aronofsky’s Noah is an aesthetically pleasing film, that works on a certain level. Overall, hover, it is not fully satisfying.
When he receives apocalyptic visions from The Creator, Noah knows he must act. With the help of his family, Noah begins on a quest to rescue the world’s animals before the floods come…
The idea of director Darren Aronofsky helming a biblical epic is a fascinating concept. From the trailers and clips, it was not clear whether Aronofsky would deliver a traditional retelling of the tale, or offer something more complex. The finished article falls somewhere between the two.
Noah seems to be reaching for something profound, but it never quite gets there. There is a great emphasis on Noah’s struggle, which works to a certain extent. It can be difficult to identify with a protagonist in a situation so far removed from any sense of reality. The film would perhaps have benefitted from subtle shadings in the character earlier on to make the later struggle as weighty as it could be.
The story feels padded out at times, as is necessary to fill the run time and embellish the biblical tale. Some of these aspects do not gel with the story that most will be familiar with. Although the film never claims to be realistic, it would have been nice to have a few of the elements explained.
Noah‘s commentary on humanity and choice is the most fascinating aspect of the film. There is certainly an allegorical element that most will recognise. It would have been more satisfying for Aronofsky to explore these themes further.
The cinematography in Noah is excellent. The time-lapse sequences in particular are superb. Special effects are great, and the sound is also an effective accompaniment. Russell Crowe delivers a competent performance in the title role. Jennifer Connelly is not given too much to do, while Emma Watson is decent. Ray Winstone is well cast as Tubal-cain.
As a cinematic retelling of the biblical tale, Noah is certainly successful. Those hoping that Aronofsky would weave through some innovation or variance, or that it would be provocative, may be disappointed with the end product.