Cast: Anthony Hopkins, Emma Watson, Jennifer Connelly, Logan Lerman, Nick Nolte, Russell Crowe
Director: Darren Aronofsky
What's it about It is one of the biggest and most dramatic Biblical stories of mankind. Noah and his Ark have fascinated writers and film makers for years. Whether it is lampooning it in movies (Evan Almighty) or having a serious director like Darren Aronofsky make it into a visual extravaganza, the story of a man building a ship to save every animal big or small before the final apocalyptic hour is worth exploring. Russell Crowe plays the central part of the man with the mammoth responsibility of saving life on earth. His wife Naameh (Connely) and strategize a plan of getting all the animals aboard the Ark without causing them to kill each other. There is also a parallel story with their children and how the family struggles to keep itself together in such a difficult time. Anthony Hopkins plays Methuselah, Noah's grandfather who worries more about his craving for berries than the end of the world.
Aronofsky loves to play with his canvas and it is evident with the stunning camera work and CGI we get to see in the movie. Matthew Libatique's camera work will definitely get him a nod at the Oscars next year. However, it isn't just the special effects that matter, but the way in which the film is beautifully woven around Noah and his world that is crumbling by the minute. Russell Crowe is fantastic in the lead roles, his body language and expressions give the film the right depth. Supporting characters, be it the beautiful Emma Watson or the graceful Jennifer Connelly are on par with Crowe giving him the right support.
There are several WTF moments in the second half. Also the build up to the final moments is quite slow and tiring. You need to be patient and sit tight before some real action begins. There is also a constant attempt to try and stay on track as much as possible before getting over indulgent with the subject. While his earlier work Black Swan was more free spirited, Noah feels a bit burdened by the weight of its heavy budget and studio heads wanting the film to go in a certain way. Each time we get to see a signature Aronofsky move, it is followed by some big long shot of the Ark or the barren landscape.
What To Do
Moody, slightly messy yet beautifully shot and superbly acted, Noah is worth making that journey to the theaters this weekend.