Certificate 12A, 138 minutes
Director: Darren Aronofsky
Stars: Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Anthony Hopkins
Noah is based on the Biblical story of the Flood. At the beginning of the film, we are told that after Cain killed Abel, he left and founded a civilisation, with the help of some Fallen Angels (although this is probably a bit misleading; it possibly should describe them as Nephilim as Fallen Angels tends to have a rather different connotation) known as the Watchers, that gradually grew into an industrial one. Adam and Eve had a third son, Seth, whose descendants took a different approach, not killing animals to eat them and only taking what they need from the world.
By the time of Noah (Russell Crowe, Man of Steel), the civilisation of Cain's descendants has turned the world into a barren, polluted wasteland, with little surviving and civilisation crumbling. Noah has a prophetic dream, in which he is shown that the creator intends to destroy everything, and that leads him to seek out his grandfather, Methuselah (Anthony Hopkins, RED 2, Thor: The Dark World). He comes to the conclusion that he needs to build an Ark to preserve the innocents, namely all the surviving creatures of the Earth, from the coming destruction. The ruler of what is left of Cain's civilisation, Tubal-cain (Ray Winstone, The Sweeney), has a different idea as to what use the Ark should be put to.
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Noah does seem designed to reconcile scientific and religious viewpoints regarding the creation of the universe, during an extensive scene - this is another area that caused complaints.
Credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Noah2014Poster.jpgThe actual story of Noah and the Flood in Genesis is short, only comprising parts of Genesis 6-9, and can even differ from Bible to Bible, let alone other religious books, so there is a lot of room for additional material. The story is not quite true to the Biblical story, as read in one Bible. Even without considering the similarities to a story in the even older Epic of Gilgamesh, there is a tendency for some to take the entire Bible as gospel (sic) truth, rather than as a parable, even when logic shows that the literal meaning does not work - Noah was building an Ark, not a TARDIS, and that many animals for that length of time would have built up a lot of waste. The film does come up with a solution for some of these problems, through the knowledge of herbalism of Naameh (Jennifer Connelly), Noah's wife.
There is a morality tale built into this story, and it seems to have a strong environmentalist subtext. The industrial civilisation depicted in Noah isn't really such, certainly not to cause the amount of devastation it is supposed to have, and it appears at some points that it is actually referring to modern civilisation, rather than a prior one.
Neither Noah nor Tubal-cain are completely good or bad. Noah starts off as righteous, but becomes practically self-righteous and blinded by what he thinks is supposed to happen, leading him to consider some pretty reprehensible actions. Tubal-cain may be a thug, but he has some good points. Having characters like this makes the story more interesting. The film is available in 2D and 3D, with the 2D version seen. Noah is a visually spectacular film, and an interesting take on one of the oldest and most widely spread stories, that of the Great Flood.