When the Creator tells Noah (Crowe) that he is going to flood the world, through a dream sequence vision, he must go to his grandfather Methuselah (Hopkins) and commence a decade’s work in order to prepare for the impending flood. Along the way he must keep his family safe from humanity who it seems have become spiteful and evil in their allegiance to exile Kane. When he finally does establish the enormity of his task he completes the building of the ark with the aid of fallen angels, the Watchers. When the animals start to flock in droves, and pairs, humanity becomes aware that something is afoot. Following Tubal-Cain (Winstone) they don’t ask politely to be included in Noah’s plans and when the flood does come the inevitable scrap to get on board occurs. But Noah is on a mission that is overshadowed by allowing the destruction of humanity; he must stay the course, however, even if it has horrific implications for his beloved family and by extension him.
Darren Aronofsky never takes a straight approach to filmmaking and in a lot of cases explores the darker recesses of the human mind and Noah is no different. Thematically there is a lot to digest with Aronofsky never actually nailing his colours to the mast, which in essence is wise and reflects intelligence in knowing the audience. There is religion, the human condition and the theory of evolution all sitting down at the one table and Aronofsky makes them work well together.
In order for all these themes to come together and work it is ultimately down to the storytelling and although there are times when it feels a little bizarre it does come together, with Noah’s journey at the centre of it all. Crowe is good in the role and he makes you believe in the struggles of Noah who admittedly has the weight of the world on his shoulders as he toils for a decade in service of the Creator’s plan. When the big questions are asked you feel for Noah despite the fact that his actions are reprehensible, but that’s the point really, to prove that humanity can be just despite its inherent shortcomings.
There are one or two threads that are merely there to serve as fodder in character development for the support cast and at times they do seem superfluous, but they don’t drag it down too much. The score is suitably dramatic and in keeping with the subject matter so it’s a good fit and the support cast are fine but forgettable standing next to Crowe.
Asking questions of the human condition and reflecting on evolution and religion in parallel Noah is an enjoyable, if at times bizarre, journey with a fitting conclusion. Definitely worth a look.