TWO-SENTENCE REVIEW: Although Darren Aronofsky’s biblical epic has been shrouded with controversy, the visionary director was able to walk a very thin line to please both the religious and the regular movie goer. Bolstered by strong performances by the entire cast, strong visuals, and a filled out script, “Noah” may be one of the better biblical adaptations.
THE GOOD: The visuals. Aronofsky is always careful to capture a film in the best way possible, but “Noah” may take the cake. From the beautiful cinematography to the stunning effects, he was able to capture the beauty of the landscape, while also showing its danger.
The performances. Every single actor is at the top of their game, particularly Jennifer Connelly, Emma Watson, and Anthony Hopkins. Each actor was able to deal with material that may not have been as deep as it needed to be and added so many layers. Watson is heartbreaking as Noah’s adopted daughter who must deal with the ramifications of the needs of the mission and shows that she is an actress that can past a decade long role. Connelly is wonderful as always, but Hopkins returns in a role meant more for comic relief, but does so well with it.
However, the biggest feat for the film must be its careful screenplay, which allowed room to please those who are spiritual, religious, or simply looking for an entertaining film. There is a blanketing theme of doing what is right even thought it hurts, but also makes it’s way into the territory of sin and forgiveness. Aronofsky was able to include something for everyone.
THE BAD: The dialogue. There is some questionable dialogue. Not too many cringeworthy lines, but there is enough for one to take notice.
There are small directorial mistakes. One of the more prominent is that the family uses incense to put the animals on the ark to sleep, however it doesn’t affect any humans even it was able to put a full grown elephant to sleep.
THE UGLY: Unnecessary violence. This was one of the points of controversy and it shows up more than I would have liked. In an early scene Noah has a lengthy and highly choreographed fight sequence with a group of thieves who he eventually kills. He kills the men because they killed an animal. Noah then uses this to explain justice to his children, which is fine, but the fight was out of place.
SHOULD YOU SEE IT?: Yes. It’s a great night at the movies and it also makes you think and feel, which is lacking in today’s movies.