SOUND OFF

Sound Off: Darren Aronofsky's Take on 'Noah' - What Did You Think?

by
March 28, 2014

Noah Sound Off

Now that you've seen it, what did you think? The end of the world... is just the beginning. It's time. Now playing in theaters everywhere is Darren Aronofsky's Noah, an epic Hollywood-sized gritty take on the biblical story of Noah's Ark, from Genesis chapters 6-9. Starring as Noah is Russell Crowe, along with Jennifer Connelly as his wife Naameh, and Logan Lerman and Douglas Booth as his children Ham and Shem. As a family, they brave the darkness of humanity and the wrath of God to build an ark and restart life on Earth after God destroys it in the great flood. How is Aronofsky's take on this story? Too ambitious, or too honest? His best yet? Once you've seen it, leave a comment with your thoughts on Aronofsky's Noah.

Spoiler Warning: We strongly urge everyone to actually see the film before reading ahead, as there may be spoilers below. We also encourage all commenters to keep major spoilers from the film to a minimum, if possible. However, this is an open discussion from this point on! Beware of spoilers, don't ruin this film!

To let loose the waters, I've luckily seen Noah twice and would say I loved most of it, but not all of it. There are some incredible scenes, there are a few dull scenes, there are a few odd choices, there are some truly wonderful moments, and there are some surprisingly depressing/frustrating moments. But overall, it's an ambitious, epic and incredibly unique take on a story that I thought couldn't be told any other way. That said, my favorite part: The Watchers, specifically the main rock guy named Og, voiced by Frank Langella. He was awesome, I really loved him, and his character arc to help them. I felt like Aronofsky was reaching back to Harryhausen's style for the Nephilim, right down to the way they move, and the animation itself.

However, my biggest issues with the film are with the way the story progresses at a few points, especially after we've learned about the characters. First, it whips past the construction of the arc without so much as a montage aside from the sun going up/down. We know the Nephilim help him, but it's such a quick cut that it almost feels like they skipped over the tough part on purpose. The other point where it really lost me was when Noah turns so quickly from a generally nice, helpful guy, to incredibly dark and morbid. I couldn't believe his character would turn vile so easily, but it wasn't until the second viewing that I started to really understand the depths of his character, and just how much he has to go through, and just how much of a toll it takes on him. Aside from a few of those flaws, overall I think it's an outstanding and well-made film. Not my favorite Aronofsky, but certainly up there. Plus I must mention that Clint Mansell's score is amazing.

What did you think of Darren Aronofsky's Noah? Masterful storytelling or a biblical disaster?
We will remove any comments that indicate you have not seen the movie, as this area is meant to discuss the film only once you have seen it and can talk about your thoughts. Please keep the comments civilized!

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  • Guest
    just wanted to say thanks for these "SOUNDING OFF" segments. Though I don't agree with you 100% of the time on certain films, you really are the only reviews that I trust or take into consideration before catching a flick.
  • Ryan
    I definitely agree with Alex on this one. I have loved Aronofsky's work since I first saw Pi when i was 16 years old; and I must admit I went into Noah last night with extremely high hopes. all in all I really did enjoy the film, but as alex said, some parts were better than others. One sequence in particular involves Noah telling the story of the birth of everything, which is one of the most well done sequences in a film I have probably ever seen. I have been thinking about it a lot over the past 12 hours or so since leaving the theater and I've come to the conclusion that, much like The Fountain, Noah is an amalgamation of different movie genres in one. You have the love story (not your typical boy meets girl, but more of how Noah struggles with love for fellow man, etc..), you have a LoTR style battle film, an almost psychological thriller at the end, followed up by a very deep philosophical message to top it all off. there is something in it for almost everyone if you go into it with an open mind. As for the visuals, I LOVED THEM!! some sequences of CGI (particularly the birds flying in front of camera) looked very cheesy, but overall the animation and design choices were stellar! Also, I knew about the watchers very early on, but I've never seen a screenshot before nor have I read much about them. When they first appear on screen I was a bit uneasy with the design choice, but as Og began to tell the story of how the watchers came to be, I fell in love with the way they looked / how they moved. the acting was top notch as usual, but no one really stood out as incredible in this Aronofsky film as much as they do in others (Ellen Burstyn in Requiem, Even Rachel Wood and Rourke in The Wrestler...). That being said Jennifer Connelly had some great lines with almost perfect delivery. I strongly urge everyone to see it at least once, just to get a look at how a big budget movie with AAA level actors can have deep emotion and an inspired look while still maintaining the level of action people expect. I have always been amazed by how Aronofsky crafts his on screen worlds, and Noah is no exception. 8/10
  • mooviewatcha
    This was a film that made me feel not so bad for shelling out the extra $$ for fake Imax. Great story-telling and The Watchers were quite striking, I'm glad they were left out of the trailers. I thought it was quite a task when I heard of its inception but Mr. Aronofsky pulled it off masterfully imho. Although the same could be said about The Fountain but I think this was his 'Inception'. And I don't want to try and start a firestorm here but at some point you have to think: aren't they all just doing each other's cousins?? Kinda eww. Who was Ham thinking he was gonna hook up with at the end?? FFT (food for thought)
  • Guest
    The film was pretty bad IMHO. Definitely NOT a Bible Epic by any means. This was Darren Aronfsky's own dark fantasy take on the story of Noah's Ark, which is cool but it was advertised as a faithful adaptation of the Noah's Ark story in the bible(watch the trailer) which in my opinion makes it falsely accurate to it's own depiction. I give him credit for trying though. He's one of my favorite directors since I loved his previous work! :) The message of the film however seemed a bit opposite to the story as well since it was all about a vengeful Creator's wrath, punishment and destruction of his own wicked fallen creation even to the point that Noah agrees in regards to him and his own family which then leads to him almost killing off his own grandchildren on the Ark. The acting was decent. Russell Crowe was believable but the other actors seemed like they didn't have much to work with in regards to the scripts' flaws and weakness. Emma Watson's acting was surprisingly very good, almost making it worth seeing by that alone. Anthony Hopkins was also notably a stand out performance as well. The fallen angels that we're rock creatures made the film really lose it's merit since I almost got "The Hobbit" feel. LOL! :) If you want a good take on the Noah's Ark story told through the eyes and vision of Darren Aronofsky read his Graphic Novel. It was way better. You can buy it on amazon.
    • Xerxexx
      Its his take on it...why are you so stressed? The story is in the Book of Genesis...Aronofsky does not claim his as fact.
      • Guest
        Re-read my review!! I made it less critical and more towards why I didn't like the film. Sorry for it seeming too intense since that wasn't my intent when writing it. :)
    • 97point6
      One item I will agree with FI. The depiction of the 'Watchers' ruined the film for me (that reptile-wolf at the beginning didn't help). What the hell were they thinking? Fallen angels - A cross between a Transformer and a pile of poop?
  • Vincent Cipollone
    The film was medicore. Had a good start.. but with all the bitching and crying from all the females in the movie it's was just an ear rape combined with surround sound of the theater. Also proved that Emme Watson's only talent is to be able to cry on camera. Also........every female in the movie was over acting everything and it was really cringe worthy. 6/10
    • Xerxexx
      So...woman hater?
      • Vincent Cipollone
        Not at all. Make the cries believable ? I dunno if they are paid millions to act.... be a good actor?
      • davidshaw
        Yeah cause that's what that means. Good job trying to find something to be offended about though.
        • Xerxexx
          Seems you're doing the same...offended at my offendedness.
          • davidshaw
            You got offended from that? Dude, you need to learn to read.
          • Xerxexx
            Does it matter if I was? Me apparently being offended by the op's complaint is offending you...kinda odd don't you think?
          • davidshaw
            How is my pointing out that you're an idiot being misconstrued as offense in your tiny little brain? Let me make this clear: You. Are. An. Idiot.
          • Xerxexx
            Calm yourself Iago. This. Is. The. Internet. Really not that big of a deal that my words bother you sir.
          • davidshaw
            Dude, you make me laugh. You're not a person to me, you're just words on a screen. I enjoy pointing out when people are being stupid because if nobody does it then they'll keep being stupid. Clearly you're having a hard time grasping that concept, and for some reason think you're being clever or witty. Keep trying though, maybe someday someone will actually care that you exist.
          • Xerxexx
            And yet you are still replying to my comments...you dear are validating my very existence.
    • 97point6
      So basically the women are suppose to show restraint when someone threatens to slaughter your newborn children?
  • Trey Wilson
    It amazes me how many people in the world still believe this was based on a true story - as opposed to ancient Hebrew mythology. I also wish Americans would stop portraying Jesus as a white male who looks like Jared Leto, or some bearded LA hipster. In reality, he was a middle eastern hippie, who became a religious radical who proclaimed he was the son of god, and probably would've looked more like Osama Bin Laden or some Taliban goon.
    • Xerxexx
      Does it really? Lots of people have faith even in this day and age.
      • davidshaw
        Which is a bad thing.
        • Xerxexx
          Depends. Thumpers and militants are the bane of religion just like thumping and militant athiests.
          • davidshaw
            Dude, what the hell is a militant atheist? Give me one actual example, please, I'd love to see it.
          • Xerxexx
            Why? Honestly the internet is full with militants. Athiest, Christians, Muslims, Jews, Catholics, Nolan fans, Gamers, Critics, Football fans, Hockey fans, etc. The fact that you haven't noticed them does not make it my responsibility to educate you.
          • davidshaw
            I don't think you understand what the word "militant" means. Do some research and try to join the real world, mkay pumpkin?
          • Xerxexx
            Well that's cute. Arts and crafts is at 9 am tomorrow sweetie. Oh by the way: Militant - Combative and aggressive in support of a political or social cause, and typically favoring extreme, violent, or confrontational methods
          • davidshaw
            You've encountered militant Jews and atheists and Nolan fans online? Really? I like that you're trying though, it amuses me.
          • Xerxexx
            Its the internet...where have you been?
    • Frater Iacobus
      LOL! Amen! :)
    • davidshaw
      What are you talking about? Jared Leto IS Jesus, didn't you know that? lol
    • Avi
      true...
  • Ronnie Deori
    What a depressing film. Everything felt so plasticky and manufactured and mainstream. I don't know if it was Darren or Michael Bay who directed this. It looked more like a bad cross between Transformers and LOTR than a biblical epic. Nothing god-like in this film, everything looked like some lame magician's doings. Bad everything here: writing, cinematography, direction and colours. And Emma Watson was quite annoying. Just the shot of all those people dying on that giant rock after the flood felt other-worldly. The rest felt so blehhhhhhh.
  • Chick Flicks and Beer
    Should I see this or not?
    • Ronnie Deori
      You could if you want to watch something you don't like.
    • Buzzfunk
      I recommend Particle Fever or Jodorowsky's Dune :) Or maybe see em both!
  • Guest
    Everyone who wants to see the film, see the film. If your looking for a good and darker artsy adaptation of Noah and the Ark then you'll probably like this film. However the film is flawed. The biggest out of place thing in the film we're the rock creatures that resembled The Hobbit ones. It really made the film lose it's merit throughout making it the film even laughable at the time during the battle scenes. Like I said in my review below, I didn't enjoy the film since it was advertised as an artsy but faithful adaptation of Noah and the Ark story from the Bible, which it 100% was not. The film left me feeling freaked out from this evil and wrathful Creator in the film who was supposed to be representing the Christian God in the Old Testament. The mercy, forgiveness and redemption through Noah and his family getting a second chance to start new after the flood with God's creation was apparently left out, making the film feel alien and dark. I regardless love the director Darren Aronofsky. He is a genius of multiple sorts of artistic talent. Every director has a flawed film! :)
    • Wafffles
      Have you actually read the Genesis depiction? It's not exactly the storybook version we all learn as children. I would contend they actually were more faithful to the Bible than you would expect from a Hollywood film. It's not a perfect adaptation, but "it 100% was not a faithful adaptation" is a significant exaggeration. And while I understand your point that the Noah legend is, to some, supposed to instill a sense of a benevolent and loving God willing to forgive us sinners/Noah, I think it's a little disingenuous to ignore the fact that in either version - dark and frightening or light and hopeful - the 99.9% of the human race not related to Noah is ruthlessly drowned.
      • Guest
        I'm a film critic for Moviepilot. My review is sound and written from my own knowledge and experience. It's NOT offensive in any way and is a 100% analysis of what the film presented in the film. I've been writing reviews for over a decade! LOL. nice try! :)
        • Crooked Mile
          Hahaha look at this fucking guy.
          • Frater Iacobus
            I am a "holy" movie critic from the Kingdom of Moviepilot! LOL! ease down buddy! :)
        • davidshaw
          Ooooooohhh you just crashed and burned, then threw lighter fluid on the fire. Bad move, bro.
      • Frater Iacobus
        "I EAT YOUR WAFFLES"-Daniel Planview from There Will Be Breakfast! :)
    • davidshaw
      Dude, that IS the god of the old testament. He (supposedly) slaughtered thousands if not millions of people in that story. Maybe try actually reading the bible sometime.
  • MAWG
    There will be many who go to this move with the expectation of a biblical epic. They will be disappointed, if not offended. Aronofsky is a brave film-maker in taking on such a story in his own way. This interpretation will offend those in the bible belt, as it studies such issues as man's reaction to absolute fundamentalism, as well as taking the creation/big bang/evolution debate in new directions. I agree that the watchers were somewhat jarring as it is an introduced character in a familiar story arc (sorry...) and it did give us the feeling that we were watching another movie such as Lord of the Rings, although I got a Matrix Revolutions vibe. It is visually stunning though. All in all, it suffers from the same issues that other epics, such as Troy, suffered from. Both movies were well made from a technical standpoint, but both movies had the issue that there was not a character for the audience to root for. In both movies, the main character is a bit of an asshole, and the character we bond with the most (Hector in Troy, Ham in Noah) are the focus for the tragic aspects of the movie. The women are reduced to a plot device and are there simply to highlight the negative traits in the lead characters, and to provoke tension. You simply cannot bond with any character because of the flaws, and you end up leaving the theater without the sense of wow the film gives you visually, because you end up not caring for any of the characters who are left in the narrative at story's end.
    • Linkfx
      a lot of christians are actually praising it a lot.
  • Enrique Sanchez
    big brother in an ark
  • Rob
    To be honest the real problem I have with the movie isn't the movie itself, its the way it was marketed. The studio marketed the movie as a biblical film and I think we can all agree its not. Its clear Aronofsky was creating a custom story wrapped in the mythology of the story of Noah, but the movie wasn't marketed as such. That's going to piss a lot of people off and rightfully so. All in all, the movie had some interesting elements and visuals, but it just didn't gel for me.
    • Linkfx
      my mom, who was raised on the bible, loved it...which surprised me.
      • Rob
        I'm not surprised. I was raised on the bible too, but I found several of the elements in the movie to be very cool. I guess it all depends on your mindset. Someone who's hardcore religious usually won't be as open to re-interpretation.
  • SkyNet300
    Ugh biblical garbage. I'll pass
    • http://www.roamandthink.com/ Quanah
      Or the Torah, or the Quran... Garbage or not, it's a tale thousands of years old. Doesn't matter if you believe in it. What matters: was the movie well executed?
      • Ronnie Deori
        No.
        • http://www.roamandthink.com/ Quanah
          Well, there that is...
  • Guest
    Hey Everyone! I LOVE Darren Aronofsky. He's is one of my top 5 directors of all time
  • Frater Iacobus
    I think Darren Aronofsky made a more "humane" realistic approach of Noah in the film. If I was Noah back then I'd probably come to the same conclusions he did in the film. Obviously feeling overwhelmed at the mass death that he's contributing too and then possibly would also come the same conclusion that "the wickedness is in us too" and "we're just like them, why do we get another chance? We had our chance and it's over" God wants us to give the Earth back to "the pure" his animals who are without sin. So I judged the movie first on the biblical artistic license it took but in the end after thinking about it I changed my mind and wrote this post to maybe help others possibly watch the film also with a more "humane" realistic approach and see yourself as Noah back then. Put yourself in his shoes and then judge for yourself. Also 77% on Rotten Tomatoes! LOL! Maybe we saw it at the wrong angle and maybe this is what the critics thought as well after the film. Anyways second viewings are key. I hated Cloud Atlas when I saw it in the Theaters and then gave it a second chance and rented it and now the film is in my top 100 of all time. Give Darren Aronofsky a second chance! All is films are 10 star masterpieces to many film critics and fans and we as his fans should give him the second chance that he deserves with this type of feat he accomplished, his artsy and realistic take on "Noah's Ark" story in the bible! LOL! :)
  • Guest
    Finally I watched the movie , almost the second half of the movie was wast of time , Aronofsky's fear of being to real or stay on the fiction made every thing be unstable . showing the entire evolution from a cell in the water until an ape which took millions of years and then suddenly god was bored and made Adam and Eve too ! Aronofsky writing this or at least he put that in his movie ! the evolution is not written in any religious books but he showed it which is great but he didn't admit the evolution of human being ! director and writer's job is to take a decision and believe in it , not to put sources and information right and left on the screen . this was the worst work of Aronofsky . Thanks to the CGI in the movie which made it entertaining and fun to watch. I must mention Emma Watson was the worst cast decision ever too , She was not acting and she doesn't fit for that role .
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7YGEVuJ4mM Carpola
    I thought it was quite comical, loved how Noah became a smelly old tramp at the end because he didn't have the stones to kill the babies for his imaginary friend.

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