Sunday, June 15, 2014

Noah

Director: Darren Aronofsky
With: Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Ray Winstone, Douglas Booth, Emma Watson, Anthony Hopkins, Logan Lerman

I've been waiting for months to see Noah and when I finally saw it, it didn't disappoint and actually exceeded my expectations. After all, every future Darren Aronofsky films slash projects is a must watch especially after being hooked by his past gems Requiem for a Dream and Black Swan. Aronofsky didn't disappoint here. The film caters a lot of his primitive styles and rousing techniques tackling one of the most well-known Old Testament epics. And it was good.

Well.. yeah it's not perfect, as the choice of CGI effects is a big problem for me. What could have been a believable disaster, environment and animal shots become a little crazy and funky. It's a given that the film needs a lot of visual effects to work and I don't mind that but like I mentioned, it's the poor execution of these effects that omits some of its strong points.

Thank goodness the film managed to maintain a visually stunning facade during the most of its course and it doesn't revolve around the 'flooding' and 'Noah's ark'. That's one of the things that surprised me about the film because I awaited to see the story of the building of the ark to save the massive population of 'innocent' animals from the huge flood like all Christians and Bible literate people expected to see in a film about Noah. But as much as I'd love to see that, it didn't focus in it.

Great thing is by evolving further than the dramatic biblical story, Aronofsky added layers to the story of Noah and his family and made it the focal point of the film. And that is what hooked me to it. Yes, there are still some major headscratcher about it like the Transformers-designed Optimus Prime-sounding stone watchers, but I've grown to accept these along the duration of the film because of the compelling storyarcs of each of Noah's family members.

I came into the film looking forward to the destruction of the world through the flood as the climax but it's the complexities of the family that reached this film's high. When this happened, Aronofsky unfailingly delivered once again the same emotions we've had from Black Swan and Requiem for a Dream. It's the edge-of-the-seat experience that plays with your blood pressure and emotions at the same time. It's hysterical but that's what we've always loved about his films. The hysteria is not on the same level compared to his other films though but it's good to see Aronofksy experiment his skills in a whole new and different genre.

One of the highlights of this film is Jennifer Connelly who plays the role of Noah's wife Naameh and as usual, she is brilliant and mesmerizing to watch. Russell Crowe as Noah channeled his inner Javert in here with a song number, and Maximus the Gladiator also. I wouldn't be surprised to see him in future musical films because the guy can't sing but he sure loves to do it. He's a good epic leading man, no one can deny that. Their children Shem and Ham played by Douglas Booth and Logan Lerman respectively are also on their own doing a good job with their roles. The hardest role goes to Ila portrayed by Emma Watson. Not only I think it's the hardest among the bunch, it's also the most dramatic and challenging role Emma Watson has ever depicted. And even though she doesn't nail the role, there's something about her that you just love you forget to judge her performance. For what its worth, she continues to improve.

Aronofsky's Noah may have polarized his followers and the film lovers in general but I'm on the side who appreciates the film for what it is and for its flaws. It actually made me look forward to his future projects because with Noah, he proves yet again that he's an extremely creative and imaginative artist and mostt definitely one of the best directors of our generation. I can't wait to rewatch this.