I haven’t seen the movie yet, but two friends of mine have:- a fellow INC Pastor Luke Harris and one of the Young Adults Leaders in Nowra City Church, Sam Laidlaw. Here are their reviews.
I will say that I am disappointed that there has been so much license applied to the movie by Hollywood when the real story is filled with, wickedness, righteousness, love, passion, redemption and a flood and drama of biblical proportions.
Here is Sam’s review
Noah (2014) – Directed by Darren Aronofsky
On Thursday night I took my bible study group to see Noah; a movie that has recently been released in cinemas. It is supposedly a bible based or inspired film, taken from the life and story of the character I was familiar with from the early chapters of Genesis. I prefer the phrase distantly related. As in, second cousin from my mum’s sister’s boyfriends family kind of a relation.
The new film, Directed by Darren Aronofsky, directly contradicts or departs in rather large ways from the story of Genesis chapters 6 to 9. And not in mere fringe details, but in major themes.
The opening scenes of the movie depict Noah and his father Lamech wandering what appears to be a barren land. A wounded animal rushes past them and men are heard in the distance. Lamech tells Noah to hide while he investigates. Lamech finds the animal has been wounded by an arrow, and is confronted by a group of men (descendants of Cain) shortly thereafter. These men kill Lamech with a young Tubal-Cain at the forefront. There are undertones of animal preservation from the very beginning, with these men portrayed as barbaric and evil because they are killing animals for food.
Biblically incorrect: according to Genesis chapter 5 Lamech lived to be 777 years old, and had Noah when he was 182. Noah would not have been a boy when his father died. Lamech would have in fact died around 5 years before the flood destroyed the earth. Also, Genesis 9:3 states ‘Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.’
In the movie, only Noah’s oldest son Shem has a ‘wife’. She was a young girl that the family rescued who grew up with Shem, Ham and Japheth. When they rescued her she was the sole survivor from a group of people including her family who had all been killed. There isn’t much detail given as to whom the killers were. She had also suffered an abdominal injury and was supposedly never able to bear children. As they become older, it’s obvious that Shem and this girl, Ila, played by Emma Watson, are lovers. Aronofsky doesn’t make it obvious that they were officially married, and I’m not too sure what the Old Testament marriage ceremony consisted of, but to me it didn’t seem as though he was promoting abstinence before marriage, which would have been nice to see in a so-called bible based film. However, the main point is that all of Noah’s sons had wives! Genesis 6:18 but with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons’ wives with thee.
Several times throughout the movie as they are building the ark, Ham pleads with Noah to find him a wife, or allow him to find one. Noah has somehow interpreted God’s message to mean that their purpose is just to build the ark for the animals and once that task is complete, they will one by one perish, and the human race will be extinguished. Ham takes matters into his own hands shortly before the rain starts, and meets this girl in the local village. As it starts to rain he warns her of the impending doom and leads her back to the ark. On the way there, she gets caught in a kind of bear trap. Ham is frantically trying to loose her foot when Noah appears on scene, in search of Ham. Ham pleads with Noah to help him release the girl so he can take her back to the ark with them, but Noah refuses, and rough handles Ham to leave the girl and bring him back to the ark. As Noah does so the people from the village, led by Tubal-Cain, are rushing to the ark also. The girl gets trampled to death by the rushing mob, and is a fairly dramatic point that portrays Noah as twisted and heartless.
This is just craziness. These events clearly didn’t happen if you read Genesis 6-9.
There are fallen angels who come across Noah and his family early on in the movie, and are presented to us in the form of spirits trapped in huge rocky bodies. They reminded me quite a lot of the autobots in Transformers. Initially they don’t want to help Noah, and leave him and his family to rot in a ravine, but one of them returns later. Noah convinces them that he is seeking to do God’s will, and these fallen angels are portrayed as regretful and sorrowful for falling from grace and disobeying God. So they begin to help Noah, specifically, to build the ark. As Noah and Ham retreat to the ark with the angry mob in tow, these rocky angels fight the mob and allow Noah and Ham to get through their perimeter to the ark. I feel there’s quite a bit of artistic license taken with this idea, and it seemed to me that Aronofsky was just trying to play off the success of Transformers, looking for an excuse to put some impressive out of this world creatures into the plot. Not to mention there are no fallen angles helping Noah to build the ark in the story I read.
Tubal-Cain manages to kill one of the angels, and the whole while the rains are coming down, most of the people are dying, tubal-Cain climbs up some scaffolding on the side of the ark, and manages to hack into the side of it and stows away inside the ark, nursing an injured leg from his battle with the angels. Noah is fighting people off at the doorway of the ark, and eventually gets the door shut and the waters increase annihilating everything and everyone not on the ark.
I have a serious problem with this. Neither tubal-Cain nor anyone else other than Noah and his family was on the ark. But not only does Aronofsky write this into the movie, his version of events has us seeing Ham being sympathetic toward Tubal-Cain and his plight. Tubal-Cain convinces Ham that he should take revenge on his father for letting ‘his girl’ get killed and not helping. Eventually Ham agrees and there is a big dramatic climax where Tubal-Cain battles with Noah, only to see Ham turn on Tubal-Cain in the end and deliver the flesh piercing blow that cripples him.
Before they go onto the ark, Ila goes to see Methuselah, who is still alive and plays a minor role in the movie. Methuselah kind of magically heals Ila from her old abdominal wound, and on the ark we find out that she is pregnant. This greatly angers Noah, who says that if the babies are born girls, able to become mothers, he will cut them down.
This is pure craziness. Genesis 6:8-9 says ‘…Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.’ Genesis 7:1 says ‘And the Lord said unto Noah, come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.’ But what we are shown is a mad man who is planning infanticide in order to carry out what he thinks is God’s will. As I stated previously, which Noah thought was to destroy all of human kind. Which makes their whole purpose of building the ark simply to save the animals.
When the ark rests on Mt Ararat, and Noah and his family leave the ark, the bible says that ‘Noah builded an altar unto the Lord; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And the Lord smelled a sweet savour; and the Lord said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.’ Aronofsky doesn’t include this in his version of events, which I think is another missed opportunity to point to and give praise to God almighty.
Overall, it diverged so much from the original story, particularly in the portrayal of Noah, I could only recommend this film as pure fiction, depicting a Noah from an alternate universe, certainly not the Noah story from the Bible. I would certainly hope any Christian who sees this movie, is familiar with the real story first.
Another small indiscretion; the door of the ark was supposed to be set in the side, not aft as depicted in the movie.
Several verses came to mind for me when watching this movie, as I’m sure there will be many people who would disagree with my opinion. God has commanded us to not change His Word. As He is the author, He holds the eternal copyright. He allows us, nay, commands us, to copy and spread His Word to the entire world. However, He strictly forbids the addition or removal of anything from His Word.
Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish aught from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you. (Deuteronomy 4:2)
If you add to His Words, you make yourself a liar: “Add thou not unto [God’s] words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.” (Proverbs 30:6) Prohibition on altering God’s Word is not limited to the Old Testament.
The closing verses of the New Testament contain a very strong warning against tampering with God’s Word: Revelation 22:18,19
18. For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 19. And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
God has a very high opinion of His Word. He inspired it perfectly, and He forbids us from polluting it by adding to or subtracting from it.
NOAH: Blasphemous, Murderous, Treacherous
Well gang, if you’re looking for a super-sewerage movie experience that makes you feel like your head is being pushed through a cheese grater… slowly – then BOY do I have the movie for you! I’m pretty sure I’m going to need to shower for a week to get the stink of Hollywood heresy out of my pores after sitting through this tripe.
I feel like I just witnessed a global mooning to the billions of sincere Judeo-Christian believers worldwide. Followed by a dump on the church lawn, and the subsequent wiping done with a page ripped out of Genesis. Yep… ‘offensive’ pretty much sums it up.
In Aronofsky’s world – God is a monster. Fallen angels (biblical demons) are good guys seeking redemption. And Noah is a murderous zealot hell-bent on killing new born babies in his bid to destroy ALL of mankind; and human life is in the end is preserved ONLY because Noah chose the path of rebellion against God’s instruction.
There is nothing of truth, redemption or inspiration to be found here. Save your money and send Hollywood a message that this level of blasphemy will not be tolerated.
Honestly, those considering going to see this – do yourself a favour and CHANGE PLANS, read the Genesis account of Noah and re-hire Gibsons ‘Passion of the Christ’; you’ll be just as adequately prepped to engage in the water cooler discussions at work this week, AND in a much better mood than I am right now.