For the first time in many years, a major motion picture company has crafted a magnificent film about one of the most debated and mocked stories in the Bible, Noah and the Ark. This 300 million dollar masterpiece will be seen by millions and this is what you need to know about it.
There are many good things to praise about Noah. Paramount hired John Snowden as a Biblical Advisor on the film and they changed many things due to his advice. Snowden suggested so many revisions, there were times when he thought he might be fired. Snowden also revealed that the rustic ark’s dimensions and its box-type shape were taken from the Bible.
“The Ark,” according to him, “Is a graceful gift of salvation that Jesus is for us later on.” Noah is the dream of visionary director and screenwriter, Darren Aronofsky, who feels his version of the ark, is more like the original which was designed for survival, not for sailing.” He’s been obsessed with the story of Noah and the Ark since he wrote his first story about it in seventh grade which was read before the UN.
According to Dr. Jerry Johnson, the newly installed president of the National Religious Broadcasters Association in Nashville, the film follows the basic plotline of the Biblical story and treats the event as real and covering the entire earth with no human survival except Noah and his family.
Johnson was also pleased that this film takes sin seriously, and shows the fall of man, God as creator, and the importance of stewardship of this earth. He sees this as a film with a high quality of production and acting that both Christians and Jews will enjoy. “Christians should be glad at the attempt Paramount is making,” Johnson said.
Phil Cook of Cooke Pictures described it as “epic and spectacular.” He also mentioned that with the brevity of the Biblical account, much had to be added to make it into an over two hour film. Cooke was also pleased that they never mocked the story. Noah is depicted as a righteous man, yet a man who sees his own sin and the sins of his family.
Several moving clips of the story were shown to attenders of the NRB convention Monday night. One scene shows Noah’s daughter lamenting, “This is the end of everything.” And Noah replies, “The beginning. The beginning of everything.” Noah is played by Russell Crowe and his grandfather, Methuselah, is played by Anthony Hopkins.
Dr. Johnson did not shy away from his concerns that, “There are differences to the Biblical account.” Many Christians will cringe when they see extra Biblical events such as Noah killing a man who tries to board the Ark, some dabbling with magic and potions, and a theistic evolution view of creation (yet a clean break to Adam and Eve who are clearly created in the image of God.) I am one who cringed, but we as Christians must realize this is a Hollywood (not faith-based) film. It tends to overemphasize environmental abuse as the major sin for Aronofsky has a passion for the environment. After all, this is the prevalent thinking in Hollywood.
Sin is ugly and this film depicts the depravity of man. There’s no hiding it. Aronofsky is the master of making dark films such as Black Swan. As the Biblical account states, “And the Lord was sorry he had made man,” and he begins again with Noah and his family. Parts of it remind me of Waterworld, the 1995 futuristic film where the earth is covered with water.
As Christians we can make this ugly, by boycotting the movie due to the artistic interpretations that at times goes over the edge and voice our convictions. Or we can take a different approach.
This film is so magnificent in so many ways. It’s destined to be a blockbuster that everyone will be talking about at the water cooler. Phil Cooke and Jerry Johnson suggest that we as Christians be ready to talk to people about the Biblical themes which are found throughout this first rate film and use it as a tool to reach others for Christ. I never thought I would see the story of Noah, which has been mocked by so many for years, on the big screen in such a powerful way.
As president of the NRB, Dr. Johnson is sending a letter to Paramount, which says, “We are grateful Paramount wants to make Biblical theme movies, but we recommend that you post a disclaimer that it is an adaptation.” Because that it is.
Have you seen the trailer for this talked-about film? Check out Noah – Official Trailer
Do you want to read more of the buzz around Noah? Read another view on the controversial movie in Noah: An Open Letter to Hollywood
To learn more about Noah, visit Christian Film Database