This weekend, the highly-anticipated Biblical epic "Noah" was released. Like most films that tackle religious themes, this film generated controversy as soon as its production was green-lighted. In the weeks leading up to the release, this scrutiny intensified.
"Noah" stars Russell Crowe as a human who seems to be receiving messages from afar. He lives with his devoted wife and sons, and he has a dream that God, or the "Creator," will destroy the world with a flood. The Creator feels that mankind has become wicked, and the current human population is beyond salvage. He gives Noah the task of restarting the world. He is to build a giant ark to survive a flood so momentous that all living things on earth not on it will perish. In the ark, there is to be two of every animal. Tubal-Cain (played by Ray Winstone), who killed Noah's father, and his men try to prevent Noah from completing his mission.
"Noah" is directed by Darren Aronofsky. His film is a much darker version of the story than the one most people learn as children in Sunday School. It is similar to "The Lord of the Rings" films. Like those movies, "Noah" has elaborate and awe-inspiring action scenes. An example is the flood, which occurs just after an impressive battle sequence.
Russell Crowe is perfect in the lead role. He shows that Noah is both confident and conflicted about the Creator's expectations for him. Jennifer Connelly also does great work as Nameeh, Noah's wife. As Tubal-Cain, Ray Winstone makes a great villain. Another strong performance is by Emma Watson as Illa, who wants to build a life with Noah's oldest son. Although Noah saved her as a child, his intentions toward her as an adult shift as he tries to reconcile his family obligations with the signals he believes he is receiving from the Creator.
"Noah" is a thoughtful and exciting Biblical film.