I wanted to like the new film until I realized it wasn’t based on the Bible.
It’s been more than a week since I saw the new movie Noah, and I’m still scratching my head—and reading Genesis to clear my brain. Not since The Last Temptation of Christ in 1988 has Hollywood so irreverently botched a Bible story. It’s too bad there’s no refund policy at the Cineplex.
I wanted Noah to be good. We could use a loud reminder that God destroyed the world thousands of years ago with a flood. Shame on me for expecting Hollywood to get the story right. Despite some amazing special effects, a talented cast and a full-scale replica of Noah’s ark, the film is convoluted, bizarre and blasphemous.
I guess we shouldn’t be surprised. Noah’s director, Darren Aronofsky, told The New Yorker that his movie is “the least-biblical biblical film ever made.” His goal all along was to create an alternative version of the Genesis story—one that is more in line with ancient gnostic heresies than with the Bible. And when Paramount Pictures pressured Aronofsky to re-edit the film to please evangelical Christians, he refused.
On the bright side, at least there are thousands of people around the world who are now talking about a Bible story they weren’t familiar with. If you happen to get into a conversation about Noah, I hope you’ll help them understand the difference between the true account and this strange Hollywood version. Here are seven of the biggest blunders made in the new movie:
1. Noah wasn’t distant from God. In Aronofsky’s film, Noah (played by Russell Crowe) is a tortured soul who senses through a dream that the mysterious “Creator” (He is never called God) plans to destroy the world with a flood. But in Genesis 6-8, much of the account involves direct communication from God to Noah (see 6:13; 7:1; 8:15). Noah was God’s close friend, and he understood Him.
2. Noah didn’t drink hallucinogenic tea to hear God’s directions. In the film, Noah visits his grandfather, Methuselah (Anthony Hopkins), who helps him understand that a global catastrophe is coming. Genesis 6 says God revealed this plan directly to Noah, yet in Aronofsky’s version, Methuselah serves Noah some dark tea (or was it coffee?) to help him hear the Creator’s voice. Nobody in the Bible—ever—had to take a drug or a potion to hear from God, and Noah certainly never visited a shaman.
3. Noah’s sons weren’t without wives on the ark. In Aronofsky’s fanciful version, only one of Noah’s sons, Shem, has a wife (played by Emma Watson)—and she ends up pregnant with twin girls who, we assume, will eventually become wives for Noah’s other two sons. Huh? In the Genesis account, God tells Noah: “You shall enter the ark—you and your sons and your wife, and your sons’ wives with you” (Gen. 6:18).
Source: Charisma | J. LEE GRADY