I really wasn’t expecting to enjoy this, after all who doesn’t know the story? There seemed little point in exploring the biblical/mythical flood, a story that is found in many ancient texts not just those of the old testament, and so it was a very pleasant surprise to find that the film was not only visually interesting, but quite entertaining to boot, which is absolutely the creative stamp of the director, Darren Aronofsky, who fought a long, hard, and ultimately successful battle against his producers to have his final edit of the movie be the one shown in cinemas.
Russell Crowe plays the titular Noah and he is on top form here, carrying the film in no small measure, whilst Jennifer Connelly plays his wife and Logan Lerman and Douglas Booth his two sons, with Emma Watson along for the ride as a random girl they pick up on their journey to meet Methuselah (Anthony Hopkins), from whom they hope to gain wisdom and guidance after Noah has a vision presaging the great flood. There is allegory of our modern day world, as we see clear signs of metallurgy that would be more fitting in today’s time frame, and the film plays very heavily on all things done in the name of religion without thought to their simple and distinct morality, which I think was a perfectly legitimate path to go down, especially since it’s not like we’re dealing with matters of historical record here – interestingly, a long proposed geological theory explaining the myth is that the stories may have originated after the Bosphorus broke, flooding the Black Sea with the waters of the Mediterranean and submerging the civilisations there. This is also one of the prime candidates for the Atlantis myth, although there are many others, the ancient volcanic eruption on the island of Thera, as another example.
The somewhat ridiculous nature of the story in that one family are supposed to repopulate the Earth is played on too, with one of Noah’s sons complaining that he will have no female companion (the eldest having already claimed Watson who is barren anyway) and demanding that Noah go and get him one. If only Ray Winstone, who plays the villainous leader of the mob who want the Ark for themselves, had explained it to him in his distinctive Cockney accent : ‘You will have to fuck your fucking muva boy’.
Losing a little to melodrama, and lacking in the acting department with the fresher faced members of the cast, this is still worth going to see as an enjoyable spectacle with generous helpings of morality to chew over.