Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN


April 3, 2014

Crowe, creativity keep 'Noah' afloat


Ryan: Even if you like some of Aronofsky’s films (and I do), he’s a divisive type of filmmaker. He’s a very passionate director and his vision doesn’t always mesh with a general audience (and I include myself in that). But to suggest that his film Noah is nothing more than a complete provocation of the Noah story is (arguably) erroneous. In fact, I believe that he takes large parts of the text very seriously. And his presentation of much of that is earnest. But no matter who was producing a film about Noah’s Ark, the fact remains that some liberties have to be taken to flesh out a story that’s less than 2,500 words. It was clear that the story – to be adapted into a feature-film – needed some sort of internal conflict (let’s be honest: the account in Genesis is very matter-of-fact) and what is presented in the film is a more brooding Noah burdened by the weight of his responsibility. This emotional toil causes the existential crisis that drives much of the second act.

Andy: I find Aronofsky’s films to be hit and miss, and Noah falls a little more into the miss category. The last time Aronofsky had a budget this big, he made 2006’s disastrous “The Fountain.” While Noah is clearly a more straight-forward film, it suffers from the same narrative sloppiness that plagued The Fountain. Fortunately, the combination of Aronofsky’s maturation as a filmmaker and a surprisingly strong performance by Russel Crowe allows Noah to hold up reasonably well in spite of some of these shortcomings.

Ryan: All-in-all I found the film Noah to be a flawed epic. Whether I’m agreeing or disagreeing with Aronosky’s creative decisions, I can nevertheless process his point-of-view. My biggest issue with the movie is that it drags in the second act and that there’s a needless plot thread — and character – that distracts from the climax of the movie. But ultimately, while the film will surely have its detractors (and that is what it is), it’s a skillfully shot movie that does engage the essence of Noah’s odyssey — that of sin, judgment, mercy and rebirth.

While Noah has many problems, it is still effective enough to garner a B-.

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