It’s always a great feeling when a film exceeds your expectations, especially when you initially had dubious pre-conceptions about that film. Whether it was the biblical overtones, or the thought of Russell Crowe replicating another British accent, I had these feelings about ‘Noah’ (2014). In hindsight I realize this was an incredibly ignorant attitude, especially when you consider uber-talented Darren Aronofsky is at the helm of a $125 million dollar masterpiece.
Aronofsky’s previous works are mainly of the independent guild with ‘Black Swan’ (2010), ‘The Wrestler (2008), and cult favourite ‘Requiem for a Dream’ (2000) his most popular works. His trademark independent roots are clear to see, with signature comic-book framing, repetitious editing, time-lapse sequences, and stop-motion like effects, cleverly instigated in ways rarely acknowledged in major Hollywood blockbusters.
The casting is spot on, with it always a joy to see an outlay of British talent in Ray Winstone, Emma Watson, Douglas Booth, and Anthony Hopkins, in addition to Aronofsky veteran Jennifer Connelly as Noah’s loyal spouse Naameh. For all his critics Crowe enthralls as Noah; it’s no easy feat actioning the visions of The Creator, and we watch as Noah evolves from loving family man, to sociopathic power-mad brute.
Much has been written about the atheist views of director Aronofsky, and in many ways his views are clear to see onscreen. This however shouldn’t be mooted as a sign of religious politics, as quite the opposite he sidesteps any religious agenda, and uses the enigma to his advantage in creating a viewing platform suitably rounded for a wide-ranging audience.
Noah expertly highlights how Independent cinema and Hollywood are able to come together, to form a solid viewing experience for all. Full of grit, wonder, experimentation, and righteousness, if you’re looking for a film to watch this week, make it Noah.