Director: Darren Aronofsky
Writer: Darren Aronofsky, Ari Handel
Based on: the bible and other religious/mythological texts
Cast: Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Ray Winstone, Anthony Hopkins, Emma Watson, Logan Lerman, Douglas Booth, Nick Nolte, Mark Margolis, Kevin Durand, Marton Csokas
Cain’s descendants industrialized and ravaged the earth, while Seth’s descendants try and live a harmonious life with nature. Noah (Russell Crowe) is one of the latter and he and his family are the last ones.That’s when God sends Noah a message: he will send a big flood to renew the Earth and only Noah, his family and the animals of the earth are supposed to survive. But Cain’s descendants, led by Tubal-Cain (Ray Winstone) don’t think much of that plan.
I was serisouly let down by Noah. I’ve loved Aronofsky’s work so far but this film is not only boring over long stretches, it shows severe misogyny.
The bible is not exactly the most feminist source material one can think of. But Aronofsky and Handel went ahead and heightened the misogyny to an unhealthy degree, especially in the movie’s protagonist and supposed hero Noah. Cain’s tribe rape their women and keep them captive. Noah doesn’t lift a finger to do anything about it. Those women aren’t worth saving. Since all we see of them is their getting raped, either the film is saying that the rape is already a punishment for some kind of failing on their part, or the rape itself is the failing. Which is both horrendous.
Plus, contrary to the source material, of Noah’s sons only Shem (Douglas Booth) gets to have a wife in Ila (Emma Watson) [whose main purpose, btw., is to be tearful and innocent so that she may remind Noah of the goodness inside of him]. Ham wants a wife, but Noah would rather watch that innocent girl die than let him have one, because women don’t deserve to be saved? Or something? [It also poses interesting questions about the procreation of the human race in general afterwards.]
But the pièce de résistance (if I may be so pretentious for a second) is of course Noah’s utter meltdown on the ark where he decides that he has to kill all female children because the Creator doesn’t want to have humanity survive after all. Whut? I mean, that’s why he had Noah built the ark, I guess. And if that’s the logic, why not kill the children if they’re boys as well? But then the children’s innocence saves them (which at the same time implies that if they hadn’t been innocent in Noah’s eyes, they practically deserved to die – dafuq?). And later it’s all handwaved away. Noah was a little insane at the time, but he got drunk and then he was naked on the beach for a while and now he’s good again? And then he gets to fucking bless the family?
Fuck you, movie.
Apart from the misgoyny clusterfuck the film does have its good moments. There were some wonderful visuals that I really enjoyed. And I really loved the angels, their origin and story as much as their appearance. What a wonderful and sad perspective on the Nephilim.
But those things were far from enough to make the movie work, especially with a cast that turned in one lackluster performance after the other, pacing that just had terrible lengths and dialogues that were not much good at all.
Summarizing: I hope the next Aronofsky is good again. This one wasn’t.