David and I went and saw Noah at the end of March, but then we got in to the A to Z Challenge and just did not find the time to get my ltflix written. So now that the challenge is over I am trying to play a little bit of catch up. In doing the litflix I want to focus on the story of Noah as a story and not get in to a religious discussion. In the end even if without any actual belief there is a story that is told with Noah. Even without the religious elements there is a lot of difference between what they showed in the movie and what story is told in the Bible. A lot of the changes seemed to be added for dramatic effect and some definitely seems to be influenced by someone’s interpretation of the story.
There are only a couple of points that I really want to discuss. One thing is that in the Noah story in the Bible when they talk about Noah and his family getting on the ark, the kids are already grown and married. The other part is how dark they decided to take the movie when there is not even an implication of some of those pieces. (Spoilers for the Noah movie after the jump).
It was an interesting decision to take Noah’s kids from being grown by the time the ark is being built and having them be much younger. I think some of it is because children are seen as so innocent and so we can appreciate more why they would go along with such a crazy plan. The Bible story is based in a very different time and family dynamics is something that has drastically changed over time. By having the kids be grown and already married the story was not about the family dynamic, but about them working together and following the God’s vision as told to Noah. In the movie making the kids younger creates a lot more tension and drama. Finding wives for the children is one of the ways in which you can create tension. The story in the movie lends itself to a question of whether the human race is meant to survive because if there are no wives for the sons and no one to have children then human existence will all end.
While an interesting interpretation of the story it definitely feels like looking at someone’s thought process around the story versus looking at what the story is actually telling. There was definitely some added drama in the movie that felt unnecessary.
Down in the Mud
I really appreciate the look at how other people reacted to Noah building the ark and showing the society. There is a dark place you can go and they went there with some of it. People not believing Noah at first and then the desperation as the realization of the truth begins to present itself. There is a level of tragedy because everyone is going to die except for Noah and his family. That would be a difficult thing alone to contend with, which is not dealt with in the story in the Bible. At the same time the movie takes it even further.
For some reason, that I never fully understand Noah decides that God does not want any humans to survive. With the kids not finding wives, and the one daughter-in-law supposedly barren he does not have to worry about humans surviving. Then a miracle happens and she ends up getting pregnant with twins. Now for some reason Noah decides that her getting pregnant is an affront to the plan of the Creator and decides he needs to kill the children. This whole storyline just pushes it too far. Why would they have any of the kids on the boat if they are not meant to survive. The story in the Bible is more about the fact that Noah and his family have remained righteous and faithful to the Creator and he is trusting them to save the animals and restart. Noah even mentions that this is not the end, but a beginning and in the Bible story that is true. In the movie it is about a beginning for the animals not the humans. It just feels a little off with the themes that the original story is working with.
Even with all the differences, which I do not feel like I have time to go in to detail about because you could probably write a thesis paper on the implications and differences between the two stories. In doing just a little bit of research in to the Noah story it looks like the creators actually did utilize some research into the story. The story in the bible is ancient and therefore to get a better picture of the story it is good to understand the time period that it first appeared. There were some interesting things that they saw. One of which is that the Nephilim are mentioned in the story and the watchers were mentioned in documents associated with that time period and history. The part that I found really interesting is the fact that apparently in the early bible the word for God was a more generic term such as Creator, which follows along with calling him the Creator in the movie.