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Not the Noah you Know...
on 14 October 2015
Do not look to watch this film if you're hoping for a faithful retelling of the story you may know from the Old Testament in the Bible - you will be disappointed, or even outraged depending on your religious beliefs. This should be watched as a stand alone film based very loosely on the tale of Noah and the Ark. The writers and director have their own interpretation which is not likely to match your own and, as writers and directors, they have that ability and liberty and they certainly use it here - much is added, much is left out.
As a stand alone film it has great moments - some beautiful, expansive scenery and landscapes and some very nice effects, with some particularly magical moments around the Ark and of course the animals. The flood itself is also captured extremely well and the digital/CGI team have done a great job here. I also enjoyed some of the surprising and very non-Biblical aspects that have been introduced and found this helped to distinguish between trying to watch this as a retelling of the Bible and a fantasy epic that instead poses different questions and ideas - some of which sit outside of religion, some of which are by their nature intrinsically linked to religion and our interpretation and beliefs on the matter. To this end, the film will of course divide people. Personally, I thought it was an interesting way of inviting the viewer to ask questions, rather than just repeat information as a truth that we either accept or reject.
Outside of that, the acting is generally superb from the main cast but the film's pacing loses its way too often and as a result the film often felt like it was dragging (in particular towards the end) and it's definitely a film that requires commitment! Sometimes the script and actions of the characters were also frustrating and the film sometimes felt indulgent and over staged. The film is also surprisingly violent in places - they don't hold back on the terrible impact and aftermath of the flood and other issues surrounding suitable procreation might also not be suitable for younger children.
Overall the film was OK with moments of greatness but it could have been improved massively by a tighter edit and shorter run time. Give it a go if you have the time to dedicate to it and can accept the fact that it isn't a dedicated retelling of the story you may already know.