Darren Aronofsky’s biblical epic Noah, due to open in the U.S. on March 28 has been courting controversy before it premieres theatrically within these borders. Thus far, this retelling of the world’s biggest tsunami, skirts around mentioning God altogether, referring instead to a much more PC term of The Creator. All the better to not offend those who have, perhaps, different names for “the big guy/gal.”
This omission has not harmed the film south of the border though. The opening figures for Noah in Mexico puts it on par with Gravity with box office receipts of $1.4 million. This information is really a “no brainer” as the majority of residents in the country are devoutly Catholic. It would seem that the film could be just as popular in Italy.
So far, everyone involved with this modern retelling of a classic event in the Bible have been treading very carefully in terms of Christianity and religious beliefs. This softly, softly approach has not garnered much in the way of understanding from the Muslim community who have banned the film in a lot of countries where that form of worship is the norm.
Despite the promise that Noah preserves the “spirit” of the tale, there has been quite a lot of controversy before the film opens theatrically in the U.S. and while the filmmakers have not courted this unrest, damage control is being practised by all the film’s protagonists. Although Emma Watson appears to be left out of this PR exercise with her comic intro to the Noah trailer. Emma Watson fans can see her video below.
It is hard to believe that Aronofsky and his version of the great flood, are keeping too strictly to the Bible’s chronicle. The message in this water-logged story is that man is destructive and that the world was flooded because of this destruction. The message of man’s sin and all the things that walked the earth, including abominations, has been left out.
Also added to this ecological mish-mash of a story is the inclusion of Cain’s offspring. Tubal Cain is a man who wants to take over Noah’s ark for his people and he seems to have a fairly big following. In the Bible, the story says that as the rains continued, folks wanted to be included in the number on the giant ship, but looking at the rain falling, torrential streams of water cascading in a crescendo of fluid that surely did not take 40 days and nights to cover the earth, they apparently did not have a lot of time to do so.
Of course with any adaptation of a written source of material Hollywood takes a lot of poetic license. This $130 million production dances carefully around the religious overtones of the story and focuses instead on family, ecology, and a “creator” who tells Noah to build his ark.
Apart from the obvious problem of not having Charlton Heston in the lead the film Noah has courted controversy before its theatrical open in the U.S. and will probably continue to be plagued with issues from the devout and not-so devout. While it is admirable that the filmmakers wanted to tackle this subject, unfortunately, this biblical epic is short on Bible and long on ecology. Perhaps Watson has the right idea after all with her humorous approach to the film’s trailer.
By Michael Smith