I rarely credit Slate with genius, but their coverage of what was and wasn’t biblical in the new Noah deserves respect.
I’d read multiple blogs about the “extra-biblical” nature of Noah from other devout Christians. Some cursed the movie and some praised it. Being the curious person I am, I had to watch it for myself.
Let’s just say it wasn’t worth the $13 movie ticket price.
Although the movie had some compelling and riveting scenes, the overall premise and many details of the film were simply un-biblical. I have seen plenty of “un-biblical” movies—but if you are going to base a movie off of sacred texts, you should approach it with special caution. This environmentalist apocalypse theme couldn’t be further from the point that the biblical story of Noah is supposed to make.
Essentially, director Darren Aronofsky decided to lift Noah, the ark, and a world-wide flood, and then create the rest of the facts. This leaves most Sunday school-going Americans feeling mystified and betrayed.
The movie’s focuses on how mankind has destroyed the earth, forcing the Creator to obliterate all humans so the “innocent” animals (as Noah defines them) can repopulate and live in harmony. Noah and his family survive as hunter-gatherer vegetarians, born to protect the animal kingdom.
This faulty premise causes Noah to more or less lose his mind. Noah believes his sons, one married to a barren woman, the other two very young and single, should never repopulate, per God’s design. As the flood waters rise and the screams of thousands of dying people penetrate the ark’s pitch-covered walls, Noah tells his family they will all die out, leaving the animals in peace.
However, Noah’s grandfather, Methuselah (who also happens to have magical healing powers), touches the womb of Noah’s daughter-in-law before the flood and during the voyage she finds herself pregnant. The most disturbing plot twist is Noah’s conviction that if the child is a girl, he will have to murder her.
Although the movie has a happy ending where Noah permits his children to “be fruitful and multiply” and God promises to never flood the entire earth again as rainbows radiate from heaven, the redeeming theme only appears at the very end, hardly negating the prior two hours of earth worshipping.
You can also look forward to fallen stone-encrusted angels, magic seeds and stones, and a senile old man with a craving for berries.
In its defense, the movie does encapsulate the wickedness of mankind strikingly well. The absolute depravity Noah encounters on earth reveals why the Creator sought to annihilate the earth. Additionally, the beauty of the final scene properly restores order and places mankind back in God’s favor.
I’d say it’s worth watching on Netflix or Redbox, but skip the theater.
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