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‘Noah’ a new twist on an old tale

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Noah (2014)


How does one encapsulate a film such as Noah which encompasses elements of “Transformers” , “The Never Ending Story” and the bible? This latest bible movie begins with the Garden of Eden, the fall of man, and finally Noah. Man has become so foul in his appearance and behavior the creator (they never use the word God) decides that the earth must be cleansed. Noah, Russell Crowe is left to judge all of those, and in very old testament style, the judgement is harsh. To add to this, there is another tribe descended from Cain. These people eat meat, while the descendants of Adam do not. Noah is handed a skin of a snake which is supposed to be that of the snake that tempted Eve, thus endowing him with the ability to communicate with the creator, and judge the fate of man. Into this mix are thrown the watchers, fallen angels in the semblance of rock beings. This is where the film descends from the biblical into the fantastical.
The character of Noah is harsh and cruel. While he seems like a loving father towards his family and adopted daughter, Ila, Emma Watson, he becomes dogmatic, dictatorial and obsessed to the point where he alienates everyone in his family.
There are many non sequiturs in the film though such as bear traps, armor that looks Renaissance, and incense that puts all the animals in the ark to sleep. In addition to this are odd the messages that once you kill another human then you are a man (within the world of Cain’s people) while in Noah’s world, eating animals is forbidden. Women in particular are only good for making children, so miraculously; Ila who was barren becomes fertile.
Noah is visually a stunning film, yet it seems to take forever to get to the ark and even longer to get to dry land. Jennifer Connelly as Naameh (Noah’s wife) brings a sense of reality to the story. Douglas Booth, Shem, Noah’s eldest son is perfectly cast as he looks Christ like with his soft face and sweeping hair. He is the face of how later Christian’s would visualize Jesus. So, while we have the harshness of Noah, with his thundering Judgement of mankind, within the face of his son, there is the later image man would come to see as divine.


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