Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN


April 3, 2014

Crowe, creativity keep 'Noah' afloat

Darren Aronofsky’s latest feature is Noah (PG-13).

The movie is based on — inspired by— the Biblical story in Genesis of a great flood and Noah’s Ark. Russell Crowe stars as Noah and is joined in the cast by Jennifer Connelly, Ray Winstone, Emma Watson and Anthony Hopkins.

Ryan: Whether it’s a comic book superhero movie, a movie based on an adaptation of a best-selling book or a film based on sacred religious text, I never think it’s a good plan to make a film that specifically caters to a predetermined fan base or demographic of people. One of the goals of any art form —including cinema— is to not just reinforce our values but to challenge our beliefs and attitudes. Aronofsy’s Noah is that type of film. Certainly the fantasy-based tone of the movie combined with some of Aronofsky’s creative decisions will alienate some moviegoers. There’s no getting around that. But whether those creative licenses are just red-flags, deal-breakers, or nothing at all will ultimately be up to each individual moviegoer to ascertain for themselves.

Andy: Interpreting the meaning behind the stories in the Bible is obviously something that is done on a daily basis by millions of people, but such interpretations are not often set to film with a major studio budget behind it. Because of the inherent choices someone has to make in interpreting a story that is at once so familiar and so vague, Noah is likely going to upset some of the audience. While taking such a “Hollywood” approach to a traditional story may cause problems for some people, my biggest concern with the movie is that it is a bit of a mess. If the plot and themes were a little more tightly wound, the movie would be more successful.

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