Darren Aronofsky is the auteur known for such mind bending films as Pi, Requiem for a Dream, The Fountain, and Black Swan. Now he’s at the helm of biblical epic Noah, starring Russell Crowe. The film, though it has yet to see release, has been at the center of a storm of controversy. Some have read early versions of the script, and claim the movie is an unmitigated disaster.
I wouldn’t know. I prefer to reserve judgment until the movie actually comes out. Based on the sheer amount of talent in the movie alone (besides Crowe, it stars Jennifer Connelly, Anthony Hopkins, and Emma Watson), I expect much scenery to be–literally, and figuratively–chewed. Let me put it this way: with a story as epic as Noah’s, one needs an epic cast. In pop culture terms, this means we have a film where Maximus Decimus Meridius plays Noah, Hulk’s girlfriend is playing his wife, Hermione plays their daughter-in-law(?), and Odin is playing a wise old man. Now Aronofsky is widely regarded as a visionary (he even made sourpuss Mickey Rourke look good in The Wrestler). I think we can trust him to wrest the best performances from the cast assembled. That said, and as with any Hollywood adaptation, certain latitudes will be taken with the source material.
The challenge becomes one balancing one’s respect for the source material with the need to tell a visually compelling story. Creative liberties will be taken. They have to be. As we know, the story of Noah as presented in the Bible is just a few chapters. How does one go about adapting that scant material into a feature-length film? Just as certain novelists have imagined the life of Judas, or ruminated on the lost years of Christ, things will be added.
This is as it should be, for story at its most basic is about a character who wants something and must undergo conflict to get it. Thus from the trailer I get the sense that those who in Scripture merely mocked Noah are now openly antagonistic–hostile-to him. I also get the sense that we are going to get more of the interior life of Noah, e.g., just what it’s like for a sane man to hear the voice of God. (Hint: this is more than a little disruptive).
Those are my impressions. Watch the trailer, and let me know what you think:
(To watch it in full HD on YouTube, click here).
Are you going to see Noah when it releases next Spring?