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Movie Review: Noah: An engrossing outlook on one of the great tales of the bible

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Noah

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Historical based films are among the hardest to reinvent. No matter what perspective is used for the film, they will be questions and negativity that surrounds the creative choices that are made to differentiate one from another. If you stray too far from the source material then you will be chastised for not being original enough. Consequently if you stay by the book then your audience will never truly embrace the story because the movie well feel redundant as well as being un-relatable. As difficult as they are, historical films have a way of either endearing themselves to the public or sending the public into pandemonium.
Noah is an engrossing, historical biblical based epic that uses one of the greatest stories in the bible as an inspiration for this dynamic extravaganza. It’s a great perspective that infuses a Hollywood touch on the tale which gives is it a very inventive outlook on the cataclysmic flood and the events leading up to it. The film stars Russell Crowe (Man of Steel), Jennifer Connelly (The Incredible Hulk), Douglass Booth (Romeo and Juliet 2013), Logan Learman (Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Sea of Monsters), and Anthony Hopkins (Thor: The Dark World).
Noah is immediately engrossing from the opening moments. The film wastes no time as it grabs a hold of you and then submerses you into its epic retelling. Noah implements an incredibly controversial perspective on the story of creation, but it’s a great explanation for this story. This outlook gives keen insight into this version of the narrative.
This epic extravaganza makes a number of changes to the story but they are filtered in extremely well and used very effectively to blend the Hollywood aspects with the actual fact based events. The film is extremely well written. The changes enhance the story in a number of ways. There are some glaring distinct changes that will be sure to cause an uproar but for the sake of the film, they really work. The first and most notable change is that “God” is never said in the film. He is addressed as “The Creator”, next changes to the creation story. There are three sons of Adam and Eve as opposed to the pair of brothers. Cain, Able, and a third Seth and then Noah is the last living descendant of Seth.
A surprise treat are the way they include the angels (known as The Watchers) who play a key role in this take on the story. The Watchers were fallen angels cursed to stay on heaven after the events of Eve and Adam betrayal. The Watchers are more Hollywood than anything but nonetheless; their presence in the film greatly enhances the retelling of the story of the great flood. The film makes man out to be a war like and angry, more blood-thirsty and savage than every portrayed in any biblical telling of the story but it makes a great deal of sense.
The cinematography is first rate. Noah has great visual imagery that really makes this story pop off the screen. The scenes that show the growing of the garden; the animals coming to the ark, and of course the flood are a marvel to witness. This unimaginable aspect of the story is captured and recreated extremely well. The biggest scene in the film is incredible. The saying of “epic” is an understatement to say the least. Director Darren Affronski recreates and expands on it. He blends reality with fantasy exquisitely. This is probable the greatest biblical climax since Charlton Heston parted the red sea in the Ten Commandments. It’s everything it should be and really defines the film.
The cast is first rate from top to bottom. It’s led by Russell Crowe, who returns to his Oscar worthy level of performance, and delivers what is perhaps his best since Gladiator. Crowe captivates and electrifies. The best second best performance in the film goes to Anthony Hopkins as Methuselah. Even in an extremely limited amount of screen time, Hopkins continues to add to his incredible list of characters as Noah’s great grandfather. His constant "Looking for berries" is as good as it gets for one liners.
This is the year’s first big epic. Noah has all the elements needed for a good movie. It finds a good balance between entertainment and staying true to the source material. Even though the movie is said to only be “inspired” by the biblical story, it is heavily laced with biblical overtones.
It includes a number of biblical quotes directly from the bible that help establish a direct connection to the biblical aspects of the story. Noah is highly enjoyable for most of the film. It does have a huge drop off in its entertainment value as it tailors off a little after the big flood, the story seems to drag on from there but all in all Noah is clearly the first must see of 2014. If you don’t prejudge or have preset expectations and you can enjoy this as a good standalone perspective on a great story.

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