I knew that when I left the house today to see Darren Aronofsky’s “Noah” I was going to be doing a blog this evening. As someone who continually criticizes Christian-made films (I have not yet seen “God’s Not Dead”) but praises secular visions (“The Last Temptation Of Christ,” “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “The Ten Commandments”), I knew this $130 million Hollywood epic would be ripe for scrutiny and it did not disappoint.
Darren Aronofsky, famous for “Black Swan” and one of my top-ten faves, “PI”, has crafted a convincing reimagining of the lifestyle, circumstances surrounding and personal and spiritual motivation behind Noah’s response to God in building and entering the ark that would leave his family the only surviving humans left after The Flood.
Prior to its release, “Christians” were already up in arms, attacking the film’s environmentalist perspective (barely present in the film) and its wonky Biblical accuracy (the letter may be wonky but the spirit never waters down the gravity of God’s judgment on man). This was a fantastic entertainment and a wholesome, convincing and, especially, inviting introduction to Old Testament Bible stuff.
Why do we always have to go on the attack? Darren Aronofsky is a self-proclaimed Athiest yet he managed to include the entire creation account in a fashion that was so artfully clever and cool yet completely reverent and accurate according to Scripture. I think we are so used to attacking that we attack for attacking’s sake and in this instance we have it all wrong.
Sure the film embellishes. It needs to. There are so many holes in the written account of this event and so many questions not answered (like, how did Noah keep the animals from going nuts and eating each other?). “Noah” playfully and brilliantly fills these gaps with compelling conjectures that make for great after-movie (and at-church) discussion.
This is the best Bible-based movie of this generation and it is my prayer that our hyper-stodginess doesn’t prevent folks from experiencing a story that has begged to be adapted to film, well, since the time of Noah. I especially pray that kids and young people will be drawn to it as it is an exciting, action-packed event movie that has a powerful message of faith, obedience and sadly, the many consequences of such obedience. Russell Crowe gives the performance of his career, at once gentle and bombastic, facing a tragedy of Biblical proportions from what could easily resemble a Shakespearian stage.
I want people to see this. It’s an awesome, sometimes dumbfounding entertainment that represents my favorite Bible story in a fashion that made me proud to be a believer.
And dang were those snakes cool!