I saw Noah today, the movie that Darren Aronofsky made. As a movie it was pretty good. I'm a filmmaker myself so I know how much work is involved in making such a movie.
Russell Crowe did a terrific job as an actor. He was great as always. I enjoyed seeing him in Les Miserables as well. I've never seen him give a bad performance. The other actors all pulled their weight. It was great casting.
Normally I don't write reviews of movies, but this one intrigued me because there have been so many bad Biblical movies lately, and there are many more coming. Being a Bible translator, I was curious as to what Darren Aronofsky did with Noah's story. I had not seen any movies by him, but then I don't see more than one or two movies a year.
I read all I could on the movie before I went to see it, so I found out that there were many Christian groups that were not pleased by some of the aspects of the movie. Ironically, these are increasingly the same people that don't subscribe to my translation of the Scriptures.
For example, they didn't like that Noah was concerned with environmental issues, which are such a hot topic as the world is close to seven billion people now. The quality of food and water are major issues now, and the cost of maintaining them. Even the air we breath is getting depleted of oxygen, and some solution must be found to deal with carbon dioxide that we exhale -- the plants don't seem to keep up with producing enough oxygen during the day.
According to Christian literalists the moral lessons of the Bible don't have to follow scientific logic, obedience is the only issue; that is, God has to be glorified according to the Greek Septuagint precepts.
Darren Aronofsky dared to make a scientifically feasible story about Noah, a man following the voice of the Creator (nice touch since the word for God was never found in the Hebrew or Aramaic Scriptures), builds an ark the way Aaron built the Golden Calf that the Hebrew people danced around before Moses descended from the mountain. So the movie by a Jewish director with a name like that is ironic, but the appeal of Noah is more the result of Darren Aronofsky's professed atheism.
So the movie follows the sound principles of a $125,000,000 movie. The forty-five year old director decided to include the story of Creation, Adam and Eve, Abel and Cain, and, for good measure, he threw in the story of Seth, Methuselah and the Fallen Angels, appearing as "the Watchers." The only thing he missed was a rock-n-roll soundtrack to accompany the Watchers who had been transformed into rock giants with eyes burning like hot coals. He even had them redeemed at the end, because they helped Noah defeat the raging Cain with his "Demon Seed" followers.
It's said that Paramount insisted on the cartoon style special effects to attract the young audience, used to playing video games with fantastic looking creatures. The $125,000,000 budget came in handy. The movie, no doubt, will recover its budget and make a nice profit to boot.
As a Bible translator I'm not appalled at all by the artistic license of the film director; he did what every responsible filmmaker would do to reach the mass audience and justify the expense of making such an expensive movie. This movie is good for the economy too.
Now regarding the liberties taken with the story of Noah -- well, it's not as bad as taking liberties with the story of Jesus by other big budget Christian movies. The Bible as translated from the Greek Septuagint is not a very accurate religious text so as to be taken literally anyway.
The fact that Darren Aronofsky is an atheist was a blessing in disguise for me as a Bible translator, because at least he presented the emotional logic of what may have occurred with Noah and his wife, together with their children, entering an ark and being the only ones rescued by the Creator of the Universe, whom the Jewish writers of the Old Testament only referred to as Elohim at this point in history.
The relationship of Noah and his wife as performed by Russell Crowe and Jennifer Connelly was a strong portrayal of two characters in an epic story. The emotional truth that they generated in their scenes together makes the movie justifiable as a work of art.
If the Christian audience wanted an accurate telling of the story of Noah, they should have read my translation of the Book of Genesis. Movies are for entertainment, and this one is great entertainment. It had its fantastic moments, but it was not blasphemous as other movies dealing with the story of Jesus.
Everybody sees something different in a movie. Last night I saw Noah in a beautiful theater with leather seats and subwoofer speakers mounted behind every seat, with a giant screen and surround sound. The last two people to leave the theater were a couple of inebriated gentlemen who had no doubt gone to see the movie to see Noah get drunk at the end. It must have been a justification for them that after all Noah had gone through that at least he would enjoy the wine that he produced in the new world that God furnished for him -- everyone interprets movies according to their own fantasies.
I recommend that you go and see the movie; maybe you will have the desire to read the real story of Noah as translated from the Ancient Aramaic Scriptures, rather than the Greek Septuagint.
Apr. 2, 0214
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