3 Things Every Christian Should Know before They Watch Aronofsky's Noah
Okay, so it’s been a few weeks since “Noah” hit the big screen. You’ve probably heard rumors of strange things like “rock monsters” and feathered dogs… Noah losing his mind and trying to kill his family… the heavy handed environmentalist messages… how Aronofsky’s “Noah” is an atheist plot to taint our sacred Scriptures, etc..
Sure, some of this stuff is true. I’ll be the first to admit this is a weird movie. But now that the “flood waters have descended” a bit (see what I did there?) let me give you a few pointers if you are a Christian and are still trying to decide if you want to see this movie.
“Noah” is a Sci-Fi Movie
A fair amount of Christians went to this movie on the weekend it opened with only the theatrical trailers to go by. Paramount Pictures took a really clever approach when they decided to remove the controversial elements from the ads. The average person went into this expecting Russell Crowe as “Noah.” some other big name stars, and maybe a few mind-numbing special effects of the Noah story they’d grown up hearing about. There wasn’t a hint of anything controversial because they knew some Christians wouldn’t give it a chance if they did.
Aronofsky’s “Noah” is a sci-fi movie. If you go into it expecting that, you probably won’t be as stunned the 1st time you see rock monsters.
I’m not going to try and defend the rock monsters. They’re really freaky and weird. A lot of people won’t see the rock monsters as anything but Hollywood trying to make the Bible more exciting. I can’t necessarily disagree with those people; maybe that really is the case.
But if you ask me, I thought they were, really, really cool! I felt they were symbolic of the assistance and protection God gave Noah in completing this task he’d given him to save the world. I liked them! So much, in fact, that I may have prayed for my own pet rock monster a few times since seeing this movie… or not. You’ll never know...
Noah Isn’t Perfect… and Neither Am I
The best thing about this movie is the way Aronofsky chose to depict Noah. We don’t read a lot about Noah’s personal struggles in the biblical text, so a movie is the perfect way to use our imagination on this matter. I don’t want to give anything away here, but you’ve probably heard that Noah tries to kill his family. Well, yeah… he kinda does, but that’s not how the story ends.
Before I saw this movie, I don’t think I’d ever considered just how much stress Noah was under during this time. I mean, God was hitting the reset button on Planet Earth and Noah was the only one God was communicating with! What pressure!
And sure, God empowered and equipped him with everything he needed, but surely Noah had his struggles, right? I mean, he wasn’t some robot, mindlessly completing his task (no offense, robots) as he and his family sang praise songs and ate Goldfish™ in the ark while the rest of humanity suffered. He was a real man in one of the toughest situations anyone has ever been in.
The story of Noah has a lot of blanks. This movie fills in those blanks in a way that might offend some, while inspiring others. I, for one, was mesmerized by the beauty of this film.
My Personal Takeaway
Because of this movie, I’ve spent a great deal of time reading my Bible and thinking about this story. I’d never taken the time to make this story personal at all because it is so far fetched. I mean, I will never have to be in Noah’s shoes, so why would I have ever needed to put myself in them?
This movie has brought me closer to Noah, as well as other Bible heroes like Moses, David… even Jesus, who were all faced with tremendous tasks and struggled logically and emotionally with God’s commands. Many of them didn’t do things right the first time.They all had pressure from those around them to do things logically instead of obediently. It’s easy to assume that they were more empowered than I am, but I don’t think they were. All of these people had their flaws just like I do.
In my opinion, Aronofsky’s “Noah” is one of the most gripping and inspirational movies I’ve ever seen. I’ve done a great deal of processing since I’ve seen it, will definitely see it again (maybe even on the big screen) and had no problem overlooking a few things I found to be weird or even unscriptural. I might be wrong about these assessments, and if I am, oh well, it’s just a movie.
Comment in the box below if you have any questions or concerns about Aronofsky’s “Noah.” While I won’t be encouraging any debates, I’ll gladly do my best to share my opinion with those who are considering watching this movie.
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Also, here's a video movie review for "Noah" that I produced for Crosswalk.com.