Noah (2014) is an adventure, drama film no more and no less biblically correct than any other bible story played out on the big screen or on flannel Sunday morning.
If a Christian wrote this film, most, perhaps not all pastors would recommend it to their congregations and look forward to showing it on their big screens when it came out on DVD.
It is impossible to take two or three chapters of the bible and make it a full length film without getting into trouble. But Christian directors, just like pastors, are forgiven for embellishing or otherwise tailoring the message for their audience.
A grace withheld from atheist director, Darren Aronofsky.
Why are Christians so fussy?
Disclaimer: I’m not a fan of bible movies so I realize I’m probably the worst movie critic for this film.
Bible movies are always cast and directed like every other action adventure film with an emphasis on special effects and a constant serious anxious mood to keep everyone on the edge of their seats. And this film is no exception.
I do not enjoy watching something designed to make me more anxious than I already am.
And what I like most about bible stories is the cast of misfits God calls to lead bigger groups of misfits. Hardly a bunch of Charlton Heston(s) or Russell Crowe(s).
According to the bible, Moses and Noah were old. Noah was 600 years old when the floodgates opened. So I doubt he looked like Russell, but I’ve never actually met Noah, so please don’t take my word for it.
I was actually pleasantly surprised to find that the movie was much more accurate than the felt flannel story board in Sunday school or Noah’s ark pictures and nursery room decorations.
The bible, the movie and the story board all agree Noah was called by God to build an ark. Noah obeyed God, animals came two by two, a flood came and after the flood God sent a rainbow.
The flannel story board and nursery room decorations leave out or downplay why God sent the flood. The focus is always on the animals, the rainbow and portraying God as loving and good. Rarely are the sins of the people, the fallen angels or the death of all the other people and animals discussed.
Also we often forget God is the Father of all Christians, Muslims and Jews. Noah is an old testament character. Therefore, we all share the story of Noah.
I think it is important to note that many atheists and agnostics know the bible better than Christians. They may have studied the bible as children or when they were trying to discern their faith. And some cite Noah’s ark as proof that God is neither real nor good.
This movie demonstrates Aronofsky has read the bible and embellished mostly the gray areas of scripture such as the offspring of angel and human unions.
Since the Creator (God) was a major character of the movie and clearly good, I left wondering if Aronofsky was finding it awkward explaining the movie to his atheist friends.
Noah, the movie and the bible story are not suitable for children. While we may disagree with Aronofsky about what sins brought down creation, the movie and the bible portray a fallen world, corrupted by sin. And both introduce us to Noah, a prophet and sinner.
The only significant disagreement with the bible was the number of people on the ark but since I’ve never seen a flannel board or painting with all of Noah’s family, I’ll keep my stones to myself.