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Sunday, 30 March 2014

Noah (2014) (English)

I missed the preview show of Noah because I wanted to catch up with it at an IMAX Theatre.  I did so, on Friday after India qualified for the semi-finals of the World Cup.  A 22:55 hrs show @ IMAX Wadala with a guarantee that I was spending in excess of `1500 for the entire experience (`1060 for tickets + `300 for the cab back home + `300 for snacks).  Was it worth it? HELL YES!!!

I am sticking my neck out nearly over 36 hours after I finished watching Noah and after sleeping over it for 2 good nights trying to figure out if I would be the only one out there who liked the movie.  The movie has been plagued by controversy after controversy from all religious leaders.  But what people fail to get, is that this is a work that is inspired from the story of the Ark but at no time says it is identical to it.

First of all, Darren Aronofsky’s magnum opus (In excess of $125 million was spent on it) is based on a graphic novel that he and Ari Handel created in 2011.  It narrated the story of Noah in contemporary fashion and spoke a lot about the conflict in Noah’s mind.  Was he to interpret the creator’s message to him as getting mankind to an end and leaving only the innocent i.e. the animals?

That question forms the core of Aronofsky’s huuuuuge effort.  Of course everyone is familiar with the story of Noah (Russell Crowe) son of Lamech (Marton Csokas) son of Methuselah (Anthony Hopkins).  Noah gets a vision from The Creator – one that he has to interpret on his own – superbly depicted by Aronofsky.  With some help from Methuselah, he understands that he has to create an ark and does so.

Helping him create the ark – and I thought this was a brilliant aspect in Noah – are the Fallen Angels.  Aronofsky has defined clearly as to how they came into play and how they got to looking the way they do.  The Graphics used to show their creation are simply stunning.  There are reports all around that are slamming this aspect and I say – forgive them for they know not what they say.

Noah has been in the eye of controversy for a while and I can only attribute it to a fact that was clearly called out in the movie itself.  As a race, we will refuse to accept that we are responsible for the world as it is today.  The day we accept it and start making changes is when we may see some progress.

Noah also exposes the fragile nature of our capability to read signs and make decisions based on them.  It shows us how difficult it would have been for Noah to not just build the ark but to take calls about leaving humans behind.  It does push to a level that may have been a stretch with the attempt to kill Ila’s new born daughters but how else could Aronofsky has shown the conflict in his mind better?

Noah is definitely a slow movie but I attribute it to being painfully crafted and not a lack of respecting the audience’s desire for a fast paced epic.  Noah may appear stretched in parts but how else would you have shown it is my question.  Watch it with an open mind and more importantly watch it with a desire to learn / interpret.  Make your own choice.  To me it was an 8 on 10.  I am open to understanding why you think it was not.

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