I have never been a big fan of epics. I love movies and I will watch epics if I must, but they’re not my favorite. This is why I chose to opt out of seeing Noah with my wonderful husband Bryan this past weekend. He and our friend Chris saw it together, and I was impressed with his review of it. Having heard his take on the film and then reading the slander it has been getting from people who have not even seen it for themselves was a little disappointing. It is because of this that he has graciously agreed to do my very first guest post (!!) with his own views and thoughts from this very scandalous movie.
I hope you enjoy it and give him the same amount of love you wonderful people give me! Oh! and while you’re at it, check out his latest adventure, the Go Rogue Podcast! If you give ‘er a listen after they launch, you’ll catch a lot of recording copy written by yours truly! So excited to be able to be a part of his projects.
Since the debut of this *little* movie, Christians everywhere have been Freaking. Out. “Did you know the director’s an atheist?” “God gave him the instructions in dreams and visions, not by speaking to him, which is obviously how it really happened.” “There are ROCK PEOPLE, I mean come on.”
Well I, along with my youth pastor friend, recently ignored the danger of being led astray by a movie and went to see it. I have wanted to see this film since the trailer came out, and I wanted to see for myself what all the hype/fuss was about.
I gotta say guys, I really really liked it. Sorry I’m not sorry.
I’ll try to get through this review with very few spoilers, but if you’re seriously worried about it you should remember that THIS IS BASED OFF OF A BIBLE STORY and fretting over spoilers here is the exact same as being upset that someone told you that The Titanic sinks in the end. No, scratch that, it’s worse.
I truly think that stereotypical fundamentalists will never be happy with anything produced in Hollywood, save for your cheesy, feel good, corny videos that come out of Christian production from the 90s. And don’t get me wrong, I loved that crap as a child. But even The Passion of the Christ, which was almost spot-on to the biblical representation, had so many Christians out there hating on it that the movie got a bad rap over small details. There are currently three movies about God/the Bible in theaters: The Son of God, God’s Not Dead, and Noah. I’m sure this is due to the fact that it is so close to Easter, but still that’s awesome for the Christian faith to have so many spots in the limelight. However, it also opens the floodgates for criticism.
Growing up, the story of Noah was always told in a very fun-loving way in that all the animals on the ark were saved and how amazing and wonderful the whole experience was. The same is true for the story of Moses and the children of Israel getting out of Egypt. Really just the whole Old Testament is like that. We’re given the perfect storybook versions of The Old Testament, the OG Bible if you will, while in reality it is actually pretty gruesome and brutal for the most part. A lot of people died in masses for disobeying God before Jesus came and changed history forever. This film should not receive flack for portraying a violent version of a violent Bible Story.
First off, let me just say that I am a big Russell Crowe fan, and always have been. Unlike my lovely bride, I love dark, epic-type movies and I think we can all agree that Russell Crowe wins at them. Other than the awesomeness that is Mr. Crowe,the movie had many other pluses.
Although I already knew this, I walked away from the theater feeling that God was justified in wiping out mankind. The director, despite his apparent feelings about God in real life, does a great job of portraying God as just and holy in whole story. I’m specifically referring to the wickedness of man in the day. We have some knowledge about cultural practices in the day that led God to this very powerful action, and although I’m sure the horrific behavior was much worse in actual history, the movie does an excellent job of demonstrating that God allowed the flood for actual, real reasons.
God is referenced as the sole Creator. They understood God and had a holy fear of Him, and it was definitely a more reverent way of viewing God than we often see Him now. Even the “bad guy” in the movie quoted the scriptures, but twisted them for his own agenda. The creation story is very much highlighted in the film in wonderful ways. They really did a really good job visually making it come to life and showing how God loved what He created. I actually teared up during this part because of how much I take for granted God’s awesome power, just seeing how magnificent and wonderful He is and how he can do mighty things.
The flood story was told in a very gruesome and as I imagine realistic way. The most visual scene for me was when Noah has a vision of being in water and corpses are floating all around and screaming. It was difficult to watch, yes, but if you want to tell me that Noah was all smiling and happy like in the storybook Bible, then I will call you crazy. The movie takes you through the real struggles that Noah and his family probably went through. They don’t make it look easy. They had to deal with the deaths of the entire population around them. I think one of the most realistic parts of the movie was right after the flood started, and a scene opens up to Noah sitting in the dark. You can hear through the rain the screams of the people on the outside. I think that probably describes how hard it had to be for those that were on the ark to listen to that horrific noise for countless hours. The director held no bars in depicting this image.
They portrayed very strongly how we were placed here to protect God’s creation as our intended job. It talked a lot about taking care of the earth and protecting the animals. With a lot of recent news about the mass production of animal food and other environmental issues, I have really struggled with this and have felt convicted to do a better job of lessening my carbon footprint on this earth. I will stand before God one day and answer to what I did to take care of the world He created. How well did I protect the innocent? How well did I take care of those who are in need and in pain? How well did my life glorify God and His creation?
In every “based on a true story” movie, there are always scenes and depictions that we all wish could have been done differently, and this one is no different.
The connection between the struggles of being human and following God’s will is a tough one. They touched on this difficulty with the weird and twisted notion that Noah felt he had to kill his family because he thought that God wanted everyone to die. It’s tough to be certain of God’s will all the time, and it’s interesting that they brought up this idea, but I just think they took it way too far.
One of the biggest talked-about parts in the film is the Rock Creatures. They are portrayed as fallen angels cursed by God but decide to help Noah with the ark building. I think we can all agree that this is extremely far-fetched. The ark took a crap-ton of time to build, so this notion was most-likely there for production and effects’ sake. I do think it’s interesting that they included fallen angels into the story though. Although it was not included in the Bible, the book of Enoch talks about angels who have come down as watchers to help mankind, so that may have been where this idea came from.
Of course with any movie, there are going to be things that you wish were done differently.
I wish we could’ve seen the righteous Noah that was described in the Bible who didn’t want to see this many people being wiped off the earth. Crowe’s version seems to really hate people.
I wish I could’ve seen more of how they built the ark instead of relying on rock creatures to help them. There is historical evidence that people in that day were bigger and may have been more capable to build things like that with limited tools and man power than we are today.
I wish I could’ve seen more of the struggles that they went through on the ark. That’s a freaking long time to be cooped up with the same people! They coined the term “Cabin Fever.”
Lastly, I really wish that they had’ve made a bigger deal of the descent from the ark and them seeing the new world after the flood.
Overall, I think it was a great movie and it has definitely made me have a more interesting view of what most likely actually happened. Although they may have taken some liberties, the powers that be tried to make one of the most epic stories in the Bible into an epic film. They even try to cram several Bible stories into one with the story of Methuselah (who historians believe may have finally died in the flood) and by making the parallel between Noah thinking he needed to kill his children like Abraham did and to Sodom and Gomorrah. They also gave a nod to Adam and Eve in the creation story and the fall of man.
What I hope we can all remember is this: I don’t think we have to defend God or the Bible, I think He can take care of Himself. This is a gruesome but true story. Our God is a loving God, but He’s also a just God who should be feared and looked at as holy. Beyond all of the hype, I think that this film truly portrays the magnificence of our awesome God. This movie begs us to ask questions about God and His character, and I believe both were represented strongly. I personally have seen several social media posts from people asking questions about God simply through watching this movie, and I honestly think that this is the central theme of what we should be about as Christians. It makes me want to go back and look through the Scriptures and really do some digging to know more about the story. I want to know more about the Old Testament and specifically about creation.
The makers of this film used the special effects that Hollywood offers to attempt to hold even a flicker of a candle to how amazing our God is, and I think that’s pretty cool.
**I apologize for some of you getting this in your inbox twice. I actually just reposted it entirely because of a formatting issue that I am too “non-computery” to know how to fix. Thanks for understanding and sorry to blow up your inbox!**