If the misbehavior of man caused our Creator to have Noah build his Ark, we should all be buying a sturdy boat.
In the long forgotten movie Billy Jack (1971), Buffy St. Marie sings the memorable line, “Do it in the name of heaven, you can justify it in the end.” Religion has been used through the centuries to justify killing, brutality and slavery, and it is no less different in today’s world.
Centering on man’s inhumanity to man, Director Darren Aronofsky’s Noah is a masterful work of philosophical art. Having the courage to re-imagine the Bible, the film presents a captivating story where Noah is trying to do God’s will. In the process, Mr. Aronofsky focuses on one question, namely did God intend on the destruction of all human beings after the death of Noah?
Human beings are displayed a few generations after Adam and Eve as sinister, egotistical machines who view killing as a symbol of manhood, rape as an obligation and the eating of animals as the source of strength. If God was disappointed then, he or she must be taking Xanax to fight depression today.
As Noah, Russell Crowe has not been this overpowering since his Oscar-winning role in Gladiator (2000). A vegetarian who is dedicated to protecting life in all of its magnificence, he builds an ark to help create a world that existed before God mistakenly placed Adam and Eve on the Earth.
Jennifer Connelly is Naameh, Noah’s wife and friend. She watches over her three sons and adopted daughter, and must decide what agonizing path to follow when Noah’s interpretation of God’s will could destroy her family.
Ms. Connelly could very well be the most powerful actress of our time. Consistently flying under Hollywood’s radar screen, she has always elected to appear in dark, challenging films like Mulholland Falls (1996); Requiem for a Dream (2000); Blood Diamond (2006); and Creation (2009). She is memorable at every turn.
While Anthony Hopkins adds strength to a small role as Methuselah, Noah’s grandfather, Ray Winstone dominates as Tubal-cain, a twisted wreck of a man who could lead any number of countries in the 21st century. As you watch him and his followers randomly kill humans as they eat peaceful animals, there really is no wonder as to how 25 million passenger pigeons living in North America when the English arrived were exterminated by the 20th century. Tubal-cain would have been proud that the same thing almost happened to the buffalo.
Emma Watson is heartbreaking playing Noah’s adopted daughter, Ila, a young woman who simply wants to have the ability to have a child with Shem, Noah’s actual son (Douglas Booth). Her enormous contribution to the Harry Potter series was not accidental, and she must in the end stand face-to-face with Noah to decide whether her newborn twins live or die. You know the answer, but you still hold your breath.
The beauty of Noah is that it forces you to look into mankind’s soul. Our Creator has to be disgusted with our lack of progress.