4/4/14

Noah . . .

I saw Noah last night . . . actually yesterday afternoon (I mayyyyyy have ditched work a few hours early).

I have been excited to see Noah since I first heard of it months ago. No. Not because of the cast. Not only because of Darren Aronofsky (although I should admit I would watch just about anything he decided to put his name on). Candidly, I was mainly excited to see how the guy that made the amazing Black Swan (a movie where the characters follow the plot line of the production that follows the plot line of the ballet that is the center of the movie) would tackle the relatively short but plot-opportunity rich story of Noah and his boxy, boxy boat.

Not familiar with the source material? Come on . . . really? Noah is charged, by G-d, to build an arc to carry the animals of the world (the only ones that had not let wickedness come in to their behavior) while the "reset" button was hit on this big, bouncing ball. Along the way some tough sub decisions had to be made and not everyone wins.

How did Aronofsky handle it? Here's the trailer . . .



I will say I was not at all disappointed in the movie but I was not overwhelmed either. I was not expecting it to be faithful to the "Good Book" (common sense told me that - and all the media attention and conservative Christian uproar made it clear) and I was not expecting it to be some grand departure that had nothing to do with the source material either (because the world can come up with an apocalypse story, clearly). My favorite part of the film was the extended voice over scene where the creation story is told over footage of evolving animals, species, and landscapes . . . perhaps proof that the easiest-to-defend outlook is a mixture of G-d and science.

Here's what Noah was for me . . . the ultimate parenting movie. If G-d is our parent, how does he reprimand and reward us? If Noah is trying to follow the tradition of his father and lineage, how do children honor their parents? If Emzara (Noah's wife) is a mother and expectant Grandmother, what would she do or not do to protect her children? If Noah is a father who is charged with resetting the world while raising kids, what will he do to protect them? If you find a girl in the wasteland who has lost their father, would you raise her as your own?

All these questions are addressed . . . if indirectly. But the moral of the story is parenting is hard and the best you can do respect yourself, let your conscience and/or creator be your guide, and hope that you make the right decisions in order to provide something for your kids to have, honor, and pay forward when you are gone.

I would suggest Noah . . . the story line has its flaws (the stow-away, for instance) but it is beautifully made, well acted (for the most part), and the Kronos Quartet score is wonderful and Patti Smith's "Mercy" as the closing credits begin was spot on and well appreciated.