Movie review: Noah (NC16)

Review by Jason Johnson

Rating: 5/5

Whatever you might be expecting from Noah, forget it.

Director Aronofsky has created a version of the universally known Bible story that is downright weird.

Oh, how I love it.

A true phantasmagoria, the flick is basically an unending parade of dream-like images.

Some of these images are "real", such as the angels of light who are transformed into creatures of stone.

Other images are visions, such as Noah's premonition of the flood.

Some images are a bit of both, like when Noah visits his enemies and imagines the vice on display as a scene out of a Hieronymus Bosch painting.

Then there are those images conjured by Aronofsky to flesh out the narrative, adding context with visual poetry.

The universe swirling into creation. Adam and Eve as beings of light. The Apple beating like a heart.

The strange thing is that amid this visual grandeur, the story feels psychologically true.

Of course Noah would feel conflicted about his mission.

Of course his sons would want girls on board.

Of course the rabble would be willing to fight their way in.

Of course the voyage would lead to strife and madness.

This is The End, yo.

Review by Joanne Soh

Rating: 2/5

It ain't no picnic.

Aronofsky is smart to put a disclaimer at the start.

To call Noah a biblical film would be sacrilegious.

First of all, I think I've paid enough attention in Sunday School to know that there are no talking rock monsters in the book of Genesis.

Also, I never knew Noah had a grandfather (Anthony Hopkins) with magical powers, one who can turn a barren Ila (Emma Watson) into fertile woman, so that Noah can proclaim "be fruitful and multiply" - literally.

For all it's worth, this movie is an action blockbuster more than anything else.

Aronofsky is probably a fan of Michael Bay's Transformers and Peter Jackson's The Lord Of The Rings.His ark-building rock monsters, aka The Watchers, look like a mixed breed of Bay's Decepticons and Jackson's Ents.

Even the epic battle scene between the heathen who are denied entry into the ark and The Watchers reminded me very much of the Ents fighting the orcs at Isengard.

Noah's story is a brief one in the Bible, thus Aronofsky's need to pad up his 140-minute offering with action pieces and fantastical creatures, but The Watchers simply ruin it for me.

There are great, heartwarming moments between Crowe and the two women played by Connelly and Watson, but a pity there are just too few.

THE CONSENSUS: There are only two ways to experience Noah - either you're on board or you're not. There's no fence for you to sit on in this watery world.

This article was published on April 9 in The New Paper.

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