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Moviecation: Noah

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Writer & Producer: Veronika Kondratieva
Other Side Drive Producer: Shannon Williams
Editor: Fernando Espinosa de los Monteros

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    Moviecation: Noah


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From the beginning of time, people were always fueled by their curiosity to find the answers to the unknown. Likewise, director Darren Aronofsky takes on a big task of interpreting almost a hundred Biblical verses that tell the story about the Great Flood into the motion picture Noah, which hit theaters on March 27th.

The information supplied about Noah in the Book of Genesis is scant, but his story is among the strangest and scariest in the Hebrew Bible. Disappointed with his creation, God decides to wipe the human race out and start again. The only one who seems to deserve a second chance is Noah. So, the burden of saving his family and humanity lies on his shoulders.

Many versions of the tale emphasize the happy outcome of the Earth’s rebirth. But Darren Aronofsky lets his imagination fly and chooses to paint this story in dark and grotesque colors. Aronofsky’s Noah is both a psychological thriller and a sort of a horror movie.

There are some big, noisy battle scenes and computer-generated images of gruesome giants. The director also injects apocalyptic scenery on a large scale throughout the film.

With its $125 million budget, this biblical tale rose to the top of box office, collecting $44 million after the first weekend of its debut nationwide.

Noah begins with his family, the last descendants of Adam’s third son, Seth, living a monk-like existence in harmony with nature, while the corrupt children of Cain spread wickedness and poison across the Earth.

God appears to Noah in the form of visions, reminiscent of earlier parts of the Old Testament, including the slaying of Abel by his brother Cain, the death of Noah’s father Lamech, and Adam and Eve’s ejection from the Garden of Eden. Having witnessed the sins of man, Noah becomes convinced that God has charged him with entirely cleansing Earth of humanity.

By creating these flashbacks, Aronofsky’s attempt of creating a grand epic is undeniable.

The pressure put on Noah leads to his two dominant moods, claustrophobia and  panic. Previously known for his role in Gladiator, Russell Crowe is inarguably the perfect actor to pull off Noah’s character. He skillfully combines the authoritarian father figure with ruthless warrior. He also manages to work out the fine line between sanity and insanity.

But Crowe is not the only jewel in the film. Jennifer Connelly, from Aronofsky’s Requiem for a Dream, plays Noah’s wife. She becomes a substantial character because she symbolizes his suppressed conscience.

In addition, there is Emma Watson as Ila, an invented character of the story. She’s adopted by Noah when she was an infant and is set to be a future wife of one of his sons. Watson brings an angelic presence to the movie as her character suffers because of her infertility. She has a supernatural scar on her stomach and cannot bear children.

It’s no surprise that Noah met criticism from numerous people within the Christian and Muslim communities. For instance, Ken Ham, president of Answers in Genesis, which is world’s largest apologetics ministry, criticizes the film’s unfaithfulness to the biblical story, when he says that he wholeheartedly agrees with Darren Aronofsky’s quote that Noah is the least biblical biblical film ever made. Ham also calls the movie disgusting and evil paganism.

But Noah is the Bible story of the Great Flood and humanity’s survival, redemption and the new covenant with God shown through modern eyes. The Guardian also calls the movie a big and muscular movie. In my view, it’s definitely worth watching.

From the Other Side of Radio, I’m Veronika Kondratieva with Moviecation.

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