Noah, the highly anticipated biblical feature film, scheduled to open in theaters the weekend of March 28, is experiencing difficult waters before it ever gets a chance to premiere. Will it stay afloat? In the Middle East, it has already been censored. In countries such as, Qatar, Bahrain and the United Arabic Emerits, concerns are that the story line does not follow scriptural narrative and, in fact, the movie has been literally inundated with controversy on this point. The depiction of God’s, Allah’s, messengers is being described as a total disregard of Islamic principles as opposed to their true personas as written in the holy book.
Is it a loose adaption of the biblical story? Having been referred to as a biblical fantasy, will this Noah have mass public appeal?
According to insiders close to the project, the way the film is at the moment presents a departure from the intrinsic biblical message and does not stick to the facts as written by the prophets. For this reason, most of the Middle East will ban the movie to movie goers living in those countries.
Directed by Darren Aronofsky, in the epic production of Noah, the title character attempts to save the world, as well as two of every animal and four-legged creature in it, but the studio broke a major rule when it decided to portray characterizations of the prophets and messengers of God, rather than their true roles in Christian history.
In keeping with biblical scripture, God chose Noah, a man who had always lived a good and charitable life with his wife and sons, and implored him to build an ark in order for his family to survive the impending catastrophic flood. He was also instructed to fashion the large ark in such a way that it would hold two of every one of god’s creatures of every description, male and female, young and old. When the flood waters had subsided, he and his family and the animals he had saved would begin life again.
In a letter written by Chris Stone, creator of Faith Driven Consumer, he starts by saying that the core demographic for Noah is made up of faith-full Americans who want the real thing. In his words, “Faith-friendly audiences might not be too keen on the movie, specifically if it turns away from the Biblical narrative.” Because of this aspect of the movie, can it stay afloat?
Having interviewed insiders close to screenings of Noah, Stone stated further, “As currently configured, the movie deviates from the core Biblical message and replaces it with a modernistic, revisionist one.”
In an online survey of questions that directly asked a large number of consumers if they would enjoy an epic such as Noah if it did not strictly follow the bible story as depicted in the book of Exodus, Stone wrote, “They are not protesting, people are not crying foul, they are simply saying — if you make a movie for us, it needs to be consistent with Scripture in order to appeal to us,” further adding from another consumer, “If you want me to give you money, I want to receive value in return. A film that doesn’t meet this standard fails to resonate with me, plain and simple.”
Basically, Hollywood needs to connect with the Christian community out there which consists of an estimated 80% of viewers. Having exceeded his original $125 million dollar budget, Aronofsky is intent on completing the epic and making sure Noah stays afloat despite its troubled debut.
by Christine Schlichte