The new Noah movie, starring Russell Crowe, will be released in 2014 (scheduled for March 28, 2014). As a huge Noah fan, I was extremely excited to hear about this story coming to the big screen. It’s probably my favorite story in the Bible, so I’d very much like to see it made into a fantastic epic movie, true to the Biblical text, and become the movie of the century!
Well, to be truthful, I’m really not expecting anything like that. I’ve already heard mixed reviews about the upcoming movie, and not everything I’ve heard is positive. Some think it may be a Hollywood con- that the trailer was put together very carefully and cleverly to draw in audiences. And according to some sources, the movie isn’t at all faithful to the true story in Genesis, and is very unbiblical in a number of ways. So now I’m a little pessimistic about the film even being made.
In my opinion, if a film is made about a Biblical story, it should be true to that account, even granting artistic license. I can accept a director and story writer making some changes to enhance the movie, but not at the expense of the actual story, the theme, and God’s word. After reading about the rough cuts of the film, I’m worried how Noah will be portrayed by Russell Crowe; it seems that Noah will become a bit crazy and believes God’s intent was to destroy all humans- including Noah’s family- so that only animals would be preserved. There are some other twists that go against the Biblical account as well, and those changes seem to undermine what actually happened.
I’ve actually seen some very good renditions of Noah’s Ark, including the Sight and Sound onstage production of Noah, a short scene from the History Channel’s “The Bible”, and a scene in the motion picture “The Bible: In the Beginning”. Those portrayals provide a glimpse of what a really good effort could produce on the big screen.
There have also been some worries about audiences at test screenings that Paramount wants to address, but director Darren Aronofsky “doesn’t care”, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Key audience demographics critical to the movie’s box office success have reacted negatively to screenings and have produced “troubling reactions”. If it’s true that Aronofsky doesn’t care, then I find it difficult to support this film. Some hope, however, comes from Rob Moore, vice chairman of Paramount, who said “We’re getting to a very good place, and we’re getting there with Darren.” I hope this is true.
The Bible describes Noah as a man of faith, an heir and preacher of righteousness, and obedient to God. Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord (Genesis 6:8), and God said, “I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark- you and your sons and your wife and your son’s wives with you” (Genesis 6:18). And “The Lord then said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation” (Genesis 7:1). This is a far cry from the Noah that Russell Crowe described and is portraying.
My last criticism with the movie is that this is yet another rendition of Noah’s ark without dinosaurs (as far as I know). I’m still waiting for someone to provide a faithful account of the story with all the different kinds of dinosaurs and animals on the ark. Maybe someday.