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Video Movie Review: 5 Things You Didn't Know About 'Noah'

It's not about the ark.

Russell Crowe, Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures.
Russell Crowe, Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures.
Video Movie Review and Interview by Beau Behan:

• Noah PG-13, 138 min, Adventure, Drama
• Opened nationwide, March 28, 2014

The film is a depiction of Noah, the man chosen by the Creator to undertake the Herculean mission of rescue before a catastrophic flood decimates the world.

Directed by Academy Award Nominee Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan), the film navigates through the trials and tribulations of Noah’s life with his strong devotion to his Creator, even above his family. 

Furthermore, Aronofsky envisioned this movie to delve into the core struggles of a family. Focusing on these core items, the intent of Aronofsky and co-writer/executive producer Ari Handel was not to adhere to the scripture line-by-line. 

Rather, they wanted to explore more the questions arising from the 
biblical narrative. 

In Genesis, there are many unknowns. Handel cites an example of this when Noah is tasked with the conundrum of building an Ark and bringing two of each kind of animal onto it. 

"Questions for Noah are 1) how can you be sure you understand fully what you’re being asked to do and 2) how do you pull it off? As a director, it could be 
very challenging cinematically and visually." 

Handel goes on to say, “The film needed a director who can combine that visual majesty with emotional intensity, and Darren has that unique combination.” 

Indeed, Aronofsky married the story of an epic adventure with a touching familial narrative. 

“What we did was to start with the actual text of Genesis, then expand that into a family drama.”

To bring the first cinematic portrait of Noah’s imperfection and predicament on screen, the filmmaker needed a powerful and authentic actor, and they thought of Academy Award WinnerRussell Crowe (Gladiator), who is well-known for his talent of portraying intense characters at visceral levels which filmgoers can relate to.

Crowe’s biggest challenge was to embody an imperfect man grappling with the wickedness of humanity while demonstrating his faith, and fulfilling his mission despite of its haziness. 

Titanic task or not, there is no question Noah will get the job done.

To dramatize the personal side of the story of Noah’s family, the filmmakers decided to examine the experiences of Noah’s wife— albeit her name is not even mentioned in the Bible. 

Jennifer Connelly plays Noah’s wife “Naameh.” Naameh is portrayed as loyal spouse and the matriarch. 

“She’s a very capable woman emotionally and physically,” explains 
Connelly, who won an Academy Award for A Beautiful Mind, in which she starred alongside Crowe. 

Their previous collaboration in this film paved the way for Crowe and Connelly to project a forceful bond between Naameh and Noah. It gave them a “higher starting point to find a deep connection,” according to Crowe. 

Noah’s supporting cast includes Academy Award Winner Anthony Hopkins playing Methuselah, a mentor figure for Noah; Ray Winstone, Noah’s nemesis Tubal-cain; rising actors Douglass Booth, Logan Lerman, and Leo Carroll as Noah’s sons (Shem, Ham, Japheth); and Emma Watson— best known as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter film series—portraying Ila, Shem’s love interest.

Moviegoers will appreciate that Noah is not about the Ark.

Five Things You Probably Don’t Know About Noah:
  1. The massive ark seen in Noah is based on the exact dimensions provided by the book of Genesis: 30 cubits high, by 50 cubits wide, by 300 cubits long.
  2. Two arks were constructed: one providing the external imagery, and the other one for interior scenes.
  3. Life-like replications of reptiles, mammals and birds were created, and they were later given “life” through computer graphics images.
  4. Pre-flood world of wickedness was filmed in Iceland.
  5. To show the rain on a biblical sense, they had to bury a vast system of water pipes. The recycled water supply came from five 22,000-gallon retaining tanks supplying two giant water pumps.
Past Beau Behan Reviews on Patch:

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