So, after reading a bunch of stuff about Noah, I’ve decided to go see it. Although I’ve not seen all of Darren Aronofsky’s movies, I have found his work thoughtful, challenging, and entertaining (especially The Wrestler and Pi). Among the most interesting reviews and writing about Noah are these:
Noah is not a hero in Jewish lore. The Bible says that Noah was a righteous man “in his generation.” He was only a righteous man compared to the others who were far worse than he.
Now, why wasn’t he righteous? Because righteousness is all about what you do for your fellow man. And Noah does NOTHING for his fellow man. He doesn’t care, he has no compassion. He executes God’s commandment to the letter. So when God says “I’m going to kill everybody,” Noah says, “will you save my skin? Oh, I get an Ark? Okay, fine.”
From Christianity Today:
Rather, it’s a movie that approaches the level of “good art.” It asks big questions. It explores concepts like grace, justice, pride, guilt, and love. It respects its source material and respects the power of human imagination. It takes a sober look at the evil in the human heart.
An interview with Aronofsky and Ari Handel, his co-writer from Christianity Today
From the New York Times:
“Noah” is occasionally clumsy, ridiculous and unconvincing, but it is almost never dull, and very little of it has the careful, by-the-numbers quality that characterizes big-studio action-fantasy entertainment. The riskiest thing about this movie is its sincerity: Mr. Aronofsky, while not exactly pious, takes the narrative and its implications seriously. He tries not only to explore what the story of the flood might mean in the present age of environmental anxiety and apocalyptic religion, but also, more radically, to imagine what it might have felt like to live in a newly created, already-ruined world, and to scan the skies for clues about what its creator might be thinking.
“Noah” is a grandiose and baffling journey that’s almost worth taking, a free-form adaptation of one of the world’s most famous myths that halfheartedly tries to appease those who long to take it literally. When it connects it’s awesome, and when it doesn’t it’s awesomely silly. If it’s a bad idea, at least it’s a bad idea on a grand scale, and a better bad idea than 90 percent of the ones that reach the screen from Hollywood.