Review: Noah

Academy Award nominated director Darren Aronofsky (“Black Swan,” “The Wrestler”) takes a biblical approach to his latest feature.

From the book of Genesis to the big screen comes Darren Aronofsky’s “Noah” starring Russell Crowe

For generations man, born from the line of Cain, has grown extensively greedy and devious. The creator has made all things in his image, but humanity has tarnished and tainted everything that God has made for them, so reckoning must be at hand.

He sends visions to a man descended from the line of Adam and Eve’s third son, Seth. “Noah,” played by Academy Award winner Russell Crowe (“Gladiator,” “Cinderella Man”), foresees that the world will drown in a sea made by endless rain, and humanity will be wiped away for their substantial sins.

Uncertain by what the dreams mean, Noah’s wife Naameh, played by Academy Award winner Jennifer Connelly (“A Beautiful Mind,” “Blood Diamond”), suggests that Noah seek out his grandfather Methuselah, played by Academy Award winner Anthony Hopkins (“The Silence of the Lambs,” “The Remains of the Day”) for counsel.

After consulting with his grandfather, Noah comes to the conclusion that his dreams are a warning for an impending doom for humanity but the visions were not entirely ominous.

A great flood is coming! We build a vessel to protect the innocent! We build an ark!“-Russell Crowe as Noah

The ark is to protect two of every creature on Earth from the flood in “Noah”

The visions included instruction on how to build an ark which would assure the survival of Noah and his family as well as the innocent creatures of the Earth, the animals. Noah, Naameh, their sons Shem, played by Douglas Booth (“Great Expectations”), Ham, played by Logan Lerman (“Percy Jackson and the Olympians: the Lightning Thief”), Japheth, played by Leo McHugh Carroll, Noah’s adopted daughter Ila, played by Emma Watson (“Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”), as well as a legion of fallen angels called “The Watchers” would construct the ark.

When the animals come to take refuge inside the great vessel, the descendants of the line of Cain immediately take notice, especially Cain’s descendent Tubal-cain, played by Ray Winstone (“Beowulf”).

Russell Crowe (left) and Ray Winstone (right) seek the refuge and salvation the ark provides in “Noah”

Once the flood comes, Tubal-cain and his army will stop at nothing to kill Noah, his family and his protectors and seize the ark for himself. Noah believes that it is his duty to protect the innocent from man’s corrupt nature and will do what he must in order to complete the task the creator has given him.

“Noah” is a steady yet powerful venture, driven by its amazing visual effects and steered superbly into harbor by Aronofsky and screenwriter Ari Handel.

Aronofsky and Handel managed to adapt one of the most memorable stories in the bible into a well-built adventure story that really commentates the dichotomy of humanity, the turmoils and triumphs of family and the unrelenting nature of the works of nature. This film says so much on so many levels, but it is easy to interpret and understand.

The acting was top notch from the major actors. Russell Crowe delivers a strong performance that is properly balanced by Jennifer Connelly’s genuine performance and the supporting actors of Hopkins, Winstone, Lerman and Watson were all very well done.

Though Aronofsky and Handel take some creative liberties with “Noah” they stay faithful to the biblical interpretation. In fact, their creative spins contribute to the impact of the story on the screen.

This cinematic adaptation of “Noah” is paced perfectly. The story simply flows on a continuous motion that sweeps the spectators in, but doesn’t sweep them away and leave them lost.

“Noah” is a visual epic delivered with the proper substance behind the visuals to make the film a success. The directing, writing, acting, visual effects, cinematography and editing are all quality.

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