Saturday, 29 March 2014

Film Review: "Noah" (2014).




“’ This is the end of everything isn't it?’ ‘The beginning. The beginning of everything.’” Which is what Noah is all about. This biblical-based epic film is directed by Darren Aronofsky, written by Aronofsky and Ari Handel, and is based on the story of Noah's Ark. The film tells how Noah sees visions of an apocalyptic deluge and takes measures to protect his family from the coming flood by building an ark.

Aronofsky first discussed Noah with The Guardian in April 2007, telling the paper that the figure of Noah had fascinated him since he was thirteen years old. Aronofsky explained that he saw Noah as "a dark, complicated character" who experiences "real survivor's guilt" after the flood. Aronofsky was working on early drafts of the script for Noah around the time his first attempt to make The Fountain (2006) fell through when actor Brad Pitt left the project. Ari Handel – Aronofsky's collaborator on The Fountain, The Wrestler (2008) and Black Swan (2010) – helped Aronofsky develop the script. Before they found financial backing for Noah, they collaborated with Canadian artist Niko Henrichon to adapt the script into a graphic novel. The first volume of the graphic novel was released in French by Belgian publisher Le Lombard in October 2011 under the title Noé: Pour la cruauté des hommes (Noah: For the Cruelty of Men). After the creation of the graphic novel, Aronofsky struck a deal with Paramount and New Regency to produce a feature film of Noah with a budget of $130 million.

The film stars Russell Crowe as Noah, along with Jennifer Connelly, Ray Winstone, Emma Watson, Logan Lerman, Anthony Hopkins, and Douglas Booth. The performances in this film were brilliantly and superbly portrayed, especially with Crowe. Crowe gives a performance for the ages, a characterization that is ultimately a richly affecting, heart-wrenching yet ultimately redemptive one.

In its remarkable settings and décor, including an overwhelming superstructure that is the ark from which the story is centered on, and in this dark, gritty and glowing picture—Aronofsky has worked epic wonders with Noah. The film hits the peak of Aronosky’s directorial efforts since Black Swan. Aronofsky's direction, in terms of conceptual audacity and meticulousness of execution, is similar to that of Stanley Kubrick. It’s vivid storytelling at its best, with the rise of the ark as the highlight of the film. However, whether it deals with biblical themes or even human themes, no matter now visually rich, the film suffers from its own unfocused ambitions. Its supporters admire the film's beauty and find it daring; its detractors find it overblown and hokey. For me, it is both these cases. It's difficult to swallow the amalgamation of Biblical, Buddhism, Taoism, New Age and even Atheism, all of these different religions tossed into one big stew. To conclude, it's a movie that's as deeply complex as it is visually striking. It is already set to be one of the year's most love-it-or-hate-it movies.

Simon says Noah receives:


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