There have been religious movies released in movie theaters here and there over the years, but it’s been quite a while since there was one based on a story right out of the Bible like Noah is. I’d like to emphasize the words “based on” because there are certainly some variations to the story made in this film. Many of these details have caused controversy with the film’s release amongst those who follow the Bible and wanted a direct adaptation of what the book says. I went into this film trying to judge it more on how good of a film it is and whether it made the general story compelling or not – regardless of religious or political views.
The first hour of the film is rather interesting as we watch the story of Noah realizing he must build an ark to protect his family from an enormous flood that “the creator” (the word God is never used here) will cause to destroy mankind for all of its sins. More than his family though, Noah believes it is the animals of the earth that he must save, and then mankind will start over with the remainder of his family. One of the main variations of the story in the film is that there are fallen angels who protect Noah and his family, and these angels are giant creatures made out of rock; they’ve been released from heaven and now are encrusted in the earth. I found this addition to be pretty cool as far as having some good visual effects to look at. Whether it looks like something more out of a sci-fi film than a religious story didn’t bother me so much.
But it’s once the flood comes that the film started to lose my interest. Watching Noah, played well by Russell Crowe, build the massive ark over time and also have to fight off the sinners who wish to join him kept my interest for the most part. But once Noah is alone on the ark with his family and slowly starts to go mad just made the film a real downer. The point of it was to show what a burden this task was on him, and the sacrifices one man had to make. But we wind up just watching a family torn apart for the second half of the film and questioning if what Noah’s doing seemed right at all – whether this is what he was supposedly told to do or not. There are complications that arise relating to only one member of the family surviving to mark the new beginning of mankind and other confusing questions that go along with it. This eventually just made watching the movie feel like a burden itself. I won’t say the movie should’ve been more uplifting, considering the nature of the story itself, but something just left me filling unfulfilled in what I saw. I think another take on this story could have possibly filled the void that this film has left many people with who’ve watched it.