Noah Review

Noah

It’s the end of the world as we know it, and one man feels fine.

That’d be Noah then, the last remaining descendent of Adam and Eve’s lesser known son, Seth.

His more famous brothers Cain and Abel may have cornered the biblical market with their deadly tale of sibling rivalry, but Seth ended up having the last laugh courtesy of his descendants that went on to the stuff of legends.

Having been unceremoniously booted out of the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve reluctantly went forth and less reluctantly got fruitful with each other.

Lo and behold, they had three sons; hell, they may very well have had more, but I’m just going with whatever Darren Aronofsky has in his new film.

Actually researching the bible sounds far too much like work to me.

So it was left to this band of brothers to forge a brave new world outside of paradise, until Cain squished Abel under a rock for god knows what and Seth swiftly went his own way.

With the help of some spectacularly shaped fallen angels, Cain and his descendants went about bringing their world to heel; raping the lands, taking whatever they wanted by force and to hell with the consequences.

Sound familiar?

Well, apart from the bit about fallen angels.

The last remaining son of Seth is cut from a different cloth though, choosing a life in harmony with the land instead of treating it as his own personal fiefdom.

Unsurprisingly, Noah and his family live apart from this savage society of gluttonous excess created by his murderous uncle’s sons.

Which is probably why god picks Noah to see just what’s coming earth’s way, and entrusts him to save the innocent creations of this land.

So this son of Seth sets about restoring balance to this beautiful world man has polluted with his own sins, but the evil in men is not so easily drowned.

Being a fallen angel myself, or at least a fallen altar boy, I was intrigued to see what Aronofsky would do with Noah’s epic source material.

Unsurprisingly, the maverick auteur behind such brilliant films as Requiem For A Dream and The Fountain doesn’t disappoint.

Creative liberties may have been indulged to craft a more cinematic tale than many a bible basher would have liked, with the spectacular incarnations of the fallen angels the most eye-catching of these, but the sheer scale of Noah and its special effects make it easy to turn the other cheek.

Unless you’re one of those many religious folk who doesn’t believe in practising what their dead lord preached.

Hell, Aronofsky actually does the impossible and makes learning about bible stories fun.

Cleverly, the ridiculous source material of Noah is grounded in our modern reality, predominantly the insatiable human greed that feeds the growing ecological problems coming our way.

Truly, we are living in the age of Cain’s descendants, and the idea of building a boat to save us from an act of god no longer seems so far-fetched.

Russell Crowe has always been at home in epic films, and Noah is no exception, the younger boys and girls who act around him are ridiculously easy on the eye and Ray Winstone finally puts his god given acting talents to use by effortlessly portraying someone you really, really want to see die.

I’d happily wager that’s how most right thinking folk about this east end boy done good these days, whatever odds Ray wants to offer us.

So if you’re not fine with the end of the world as we know it, Noah might be the right film for you.

Jonathan Campbell

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April 2014
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