Saturday, March 29, 2014

Noah – Film Review

This film confused me so much. I walked out of the theatre wondering what all of it was about. I figured it had to be some sort of fan fiction. A fan fiction of the Bible. It isn't an adaptation. Calling Noah (the film) a Biblical adaptation would be close to calling Inglourious Basterds an adaptation of the account of the downfall of the Third Reich. So much of the building blocks of the original story has been changed that by the time the movie has finished, it is already unrecognisable. 

Now that we have made that clear, I can say I enjoyed the movie just enough to give it 6/10. And they are all technical credits. 

The creation narrative, especially, was amazingly done. That will please the pro-evolution-pro-creationism crowd. Beautiful style, great production design, engaging original music, stunning location... 

Emma Watson outshone everyone else with her convincing performance. Russell Crowe as Noah probably just needed a knock on the head with some of those logs that were lying around in plenty. Some roles in films are intentionally annoying (like Joffrey in Game of Thrones), and they are great because they annoy you. Noah isn't like that. He is just really dumb, and thus annoying. Like the annoying cousin that everyone has who simply cannot understand why 2+2 is 4. There is nothing else to do other than give the guy a little knock on the head. All the other pretty boys (who were conveniently Noah's sons) didn't do much more than look pretty, and try and prove their worth as men by looking pretty and doing cute manly stuff (like hug their women, get angry, try to fight, etc). 

I am not really into trolls or rock creatures. They bore me. Peter Jackson's films always have too many of them. I switch off when I see stone creatures. Noah, in that way, bored me. Think about this, the production team had all the options in the world, there are no reference in the Bible to these 'watchers'. They could very well have been cool creatures (a centaur, say, or an angel, or even a gargoyle). But they picked slow clumsy stone troll-like creatures! What imaginations people have! People are so messed up!

The director, who also did Swan Lake, I have to say has a great talent in shocking the audience. His disturbing scenes work. He knows what music to use, and how to reveal elements on the frame to shock the viewer. There are also techniques that are new in this movie. One of them is the stop-motion styled narrative. Yes, stop-motion has been used in film before, but this movie uses it quite interestingly to convey passage of time. 

In conclusion... I don't know.. Like I said, it confuses me so much. What a mess of a movie. I don't even know what to think about it. On a positive note, the imagery still plays in my head though, they are strong and powerful. And if anything, I loved it that it was disturbing, loud, shocking and beautifully shot. I believe there is a lot of grit to God and his ways, and popular Christianity hasn't been faithful in conveying that part of the message. So, if it has to come to a Game of Thrones kind of brutal story telling to show this, then so be it.