True Review

True Review: Noah Starring Russell Crowe

True Review: Noah Starring Russell Crowe

by Niharika Puri March 29 2014, 2:50 pm Estimated Reading Time: 3 mins, 33 secs

Critic’s Rating: 2.5

Director: Darren Aronofsky

Cast: Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly,Ray Winstone, Anthony Hopkins, Emma Watson,Logan Lerman, DouglasBooth, Nick Nolte,Mark Margolis, Madison Davenport.

Banner: Paramount Pictures, Viacom18 Motion Pictures

Release Date: March 28, 2014

The Genesis gets an expansive, extravagant 3-D spin from director Darren Aronofsky with Noah, a drastic contrast from his previous venture, Black Swan.

The story begins with a quick explanation on its origins. Adam and Eve had three sons – Cain, Abel and Seth. Cain slays Abel and comes to Earth, where The Watchers (reminiscent of the beings from Transformers) shelter him and his descendents, building civilizations that denude the Earth of its resources and morality. The descendents of Seth strive to defend man against the excesses of Cain’s lineage. And in the time of great crisis, it falls upon Noah to rise to the occasion.

Creative liberties have been taken with the biblical tale, where the titular protagonist is not just a bearded survivor of an apocalyptic deluge. Here, he is a tough, muscular, axe-wielding Russell Crowe with an extremely attractive family that’s set to survive God’s wrath (God, being consistently referred to as The Creator here).


Jennifer Connelly plays Naameh, Noah’s wife, ever so stoic and supportive in their hour of need. She is the loving mother to her three sons – Shem (Douglas Booth), Ham (Logan Lerman) and Japheth (Leo McHugh Carroll). They are a happy, compact unit till Noah gets the frightening premonition of the world ending. The flood is necessary to purge the world of man’s sins… and of man himself. To seek answers and help, the family trudges through barren land to meet Noah’s grandfather Methuselah (Anthony Hopkins), who may hold the key to their survival.

There’s also Ila (Emma Watson), whom the family adopts along the way. She is to become Shem’s love interest, if you catch on to the cues. Cain’s trail of evil continues with Tubal-cain (Ray Winstone), who plunders and seizes, in open defiance of the dictates of humanity (and certainly much to God’s displeasure).

He and his horde of unkempt men sneer at Noah’s prophecy but become frantic to survive when the heavens pour in on them. Ferocious attacks are made on the Ark, now being built with the support of The Watchers. How Noah and his family survive the rest of the storm (real and metaphoric) fill in the rest of the film’s running time.


The film may seem epic in scale with regard to Aronofsky’s recent work, but at the heart of it is his recurring theme – the darkness inside man. And because the director walks down the off-beat path, Noah takes a surreal turn in places where the Genesis is explained or where certain transition shots happen in a rapid, fast-forward motion. There is symbolism sprinkled in the climactic narrative where there is chaos in the Ark. Look closely and you will find temptation no different than what prodded Adam and Eve to partake of the apple. The dramatic silhouette of Cain’s rising fist to strike Abel is used to good effect in the end.

Despite the lush scenery and the effective 3-D, the film suffers on account of sluggish pacing and a possible alienation of those not familiar with the Bible extract. The unconventional shot transitions may not appeal to a certain audience. There is a sense of suffocation, since after a while, the cast is restricted to the interior of the Ark.

Russell Crowe is kept too stoic to really emote. Jennifer Connelly is the real scene-stealer in a showdown Naameh has with Noah in the Ark. Emma Watson seems an insipid character till she gets a moment to shine towards the end. Ray Winstone, Anthony Hopkins and everyone else pitch in with good performances.

Watch Noah only if you’re up to witnessing a man build an Ark and take his family to a new world. Because that is the entire story in a nutshell. If that does not fascinate you, two hours and twenty minutes of this won’t persuade you to think any different.

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