independent

Tuesday 17 October 2017

Biblical journey is fascinating yet flawed

A still from 'Noah'
A still from 'Noah'

The story of Noah and his three sons unfolds across six chapters of the book of Genesis. Director Darren Aronofsky and co-writer Ari Handel expand this lesson into a sprawling narrative about one man's tireless quest to save innocent animals from the apocalypse.

This Noah is both a parable about self-sacrifice and a bombastic spectacle replete with computer-generated battle scenes that wouldn't look out of place in Peter Jackson's Middle Earth. Our Lord Of The Rings, if you will, although the script never directly references God.

The Nephilim, interpreted here as fallen angels, are re-imagined as gargantuan stone creatures not too far removed from the lovable Rock Biters in The Neverending Story, who aid Noah's epic construction.

'In the beginning there was nothing,' booms an opening voiceover, condensing the fall of Adam And Eve and blood spilt between Cain and Abel into a mosaic of haunting images. While the descendants of Cain spread greed and wickedness, the descendants of Seth - Cain's surviving brother - work the land, taking only what they need.

The last of this righteous bloodline, Noah (Russell Crowe), lives with his wife Naameh (Jennifer Connelly) and sons Shem (Douglas Booth), Ham (Logan Lerman) and Japheth (Leo McHugh Carroll). One night, Noah experiences a vision of a devastating flood.

A visit to the mountainous lair of Noah's grandfather Methuselah (Anthony Hopkins) confirms the dire prediction and Noah accepts his task to build an ark capable of temporarily housing one pair of 'all that creeps, all that crawls, all that slithers'. He is aided by the three boys, adopted daughter Ila (Emma Watson) and an army of rock-encrusted fallen angels. Tubal-cain (Ray Winstone), a bad apple from the other branch of the family tree, stumbles upon the ark and threatens to storm the vessel to escape the Creator's wrath.

Noah is fascinating yet flawed. Quieter, thoughtful sections of the film, when the titular character wrestles with his destiny, beg provocative questions about devotion to a higher power including an extraordinary scene of attempted infanticide.

Crowe delivers a compelling central performance as a humble man, who accepts his own frailties. 'We will work, complete the task - and then we will die, like everyone else,' he forlornly instructs his family.

Regrettably, Aronofsky also has to recoup a hefty budget so he punctuates his characters' emotional rollercoaster with bombastic action sequences that are as soulless as they are spectacular.

When the pivotal deluge finally comes, it's a tour-de-force of visual effects and swooping camerawork that is over in a matter of minutes.

Time and tide wait for no man, not even Russell Crowe.

Wexford People

Night at the dogs 

5 GREYHOUND RACE NIGHT CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL FUNDRAISER. The annual Enniscorthy Christmas fundraising night at the dogs takes place this Thursday, September 21, at Enniscorthy Greyhound Track. Gates open at 7 p.m and the first race is at 8 p.m. The event is being organised by Enniscorthy and District Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with the Enniscorthy Business Association. All money raised on the night will go towards the Christmas festival events and will ensure that Enniscorthy at Christmas is magical for...

Song project in Kilmuckridge 

5 LOCAL SONG PROJECT: Traditional singer Aileen Lambert will facilitate a new project focusing on exploring local songs and unaccompanied traditional singing in Kilmuckridge. Starting this Wednesday, September 13 from 7.30 p.m. in Bridie Hammel's Pub this project will take place over the course of a number of weeks. Local songs such as the Tinneaberna Fisherman will be researched and performed as part of the project and at the end a booklet will be produced along with videos featuring local songs and local singers. For more...

Antiques fair in Wells House 

7 ANTIQUES FAIR: There will be a two day antiques fair in Wells House, Gorey this weekend. Taking place on both Saturday, September 16 and Sunday, September 17, this is a unique opportunity for antique lovers to get their hands on some quality antiques. Wells House will play host to Chantal Fortune who will oversee the event with her vast knowledge and expertise of all this antique. Those attending will be able to immerse themselves in the beautiful Tudor Gothic architecture and be transported back to the past with its beautiful...

News