The movie, Noah, released in March 2014, is sure to be an epic movie, but it isn’t without its controversies. For over a year I have heard about this movie, and for the past several months have read pre-screening reviews about it trying to justify if this would be a movie I would want to pay to see. It’s sad to report that I will not go see this epic Bible film based on what I have read and heard.
Growing up believing the Bible is true, and attending Sunday School every week, hearing the story of “Noah’s Ark” as we always called it, amazed me. God had just finished creating the whole world (even though it was hundreds or over a thousand years earlier) and the creation He had just called “very good” had become so evil and wicked due to sin, that He was going to destroy it and start over again!
The Bible goes on, saying Noah, who “walked with God,” was commanded to build an ark for his family and many animals to survive a flood that would rain on them day and night for over a month straight. But, no one on earth had ever seen rain! I felt like that was always a major point to the story, where people would mock him saying, “What is rain? You’re crazy!”
Then more miraculous things would happen! God brought the animals, “two by two” to Noah. There were so many animals that this double-file line that stretched over the flannel-graph’s horizon! Noah had them file into their rooms, and God shut the door, sealing them inside before the storm. Then the rains started and the depths of the earth broke up and water came out from beneath the earth and continued for forty days and forty nights! The entire world drowned, except for eight people and two of every kind of animal! What’s more, they lived in this giant floating box for a year! And then the raven and dove were released, and only the dove came back with an olive branch, and it had to have smelled in there, and the giraffes were on the top floor, and dinosaurs were on the ark, too! So exciting!
Then after the waters were gone, God promised to never destroy the earth with a flood again, and made the rainbow in the clouds to symbolize this covenant. What a sight for Noah and his family, to see how God spared them from His wrath and used them to replenish the earth.
What an amazing story! I wonder what it would look like in a movie?
The movie, by director Darren Aronofsky, an atheist, is a worldly, and literal “God-less” work that symbolizes the sin of the Bible as being environmental irresponsibility more than sexual depravity or violence. The Bible says that “…the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” [Gen 6:5] Seems worse than chopping down trees. Not to mention the ark was made of gopher wood.
I could go on about what I have heard is in this movie, but we all know that it has only the Biblical story as its premise, rather than as its plot. But this post is giving my reasons why I will not see this movie beyond its inaccuracies.
Other reviewers stated that a good reason to see this movie, if you’re a Christian, is to correct the story ark, I mean, arc, for friends or relatives who may not be as familiar with it. I thought that was a good reason for a while. I mean, I know the story and I thought I could use this as a witnessing tool.
Some reviewers said to not see it at all because it was so off-base that it shouldn’t even constitute as a Bible-based film. To which, I thought made sense, especially if, as one reviewer said, Adam’s sons had to eat the serpent’s skin in the Garden of Eden to get their power… I really hope that isn’t in the movie…
But then what kind of crossed the line for me was that people straddled the fence, saying, “Well, it may not be accurate, but at least it’s a movie about the Bible, right?” And, “It’s Hollywood, we can’t expect them to make it as accurate as the Scriptures say, they have to take some creative license.” And lastly, “They’re in it for the money.”
Well they aren’t getting my money for this one. Each of these arguments, in my opinion, prove how unworthy this movie is to see.
I don’t think I would be asking too much if I demanded that a Biblical movie such as Noah be based on the Bible’s own story, and not the director’s “vision.” Some story elements can be altered, of course, but changing Noah into a wannabe murderer isn’t even in the Message Remix Bible! The movie not just omits portions of the story, it flat out changes elements to fit the director’s worldview. When people make a film based on a book, movie-goers complain about things that were left out. Story elements seemingly vital to character development and the plot are removed for the sake of time and other reasons that fans say make the book better than the movie. Although Noah’s story is short, it is so full of potential and visual wonders that it could make for an amazing masterpiece of cinematic history! Making this movie based on what is already there would be better than trying to change major parts for any reason.
As far as creative or artistic license goes, I’m a video producer/filmmaker, and I know that some stories can be open to interpretation. In many Bible stories, which are all historically true, you can’t just reinterpret the story. This is not a perfect example but, In Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ, he cast Satan as a woman. This was done in the film to show the beauty and allure that evil has on mankind. However, Satan is described in the Bible as being masculine, and this discrepancy would change the whole Word of God if people believed that what they saw in the movie was what was in the Bible. I understand the need to make some changes in a story, but when things are black and white, male and female, I believe they should be left as they are.
Sure, any Hollywood director wants to make money, we all want to make money. I won’t criticize him for that. But, this film doesn’t seem like it will float, pun intended, because it isolates the message in the story to more radical ideals of environmentalism than it does to faith in God. The Noah film, known to be areligious but appropriate for Jews, Christians, and Muslims, pushes its goal of environmental activism more than faith in God. To me, the moviemakers seemed burdened to appease these groups of people. They make reference to a great Biblical story in order to see through the director’s message that humans are destroying the earth and should pay!
As a Christian, I cannot in good faith or conscience patronize a theater or a Redbox to see this movie. The story of Noah, as told by Scripture is one of salvation by God’s grace, or unmerited favor. God destroyed mankind because of their sin, but saved mankind because of His love. That kind of redeeming quality is overlooked by this movie and instead focuses on mankind as simply evil rather than God as the source of good. The Bible says there will be a time when people will worship the creation more than the Creator.
This movie promises to be a luke-warm version of Noah’s tremendous story in the Bible, at best. And Jesus said He would that we be “cold or hot” because if we were luke-warm, He would spew us out of His mouth. [Rev 3:16] This year’s Noah movie is a distortion of the true Biblical account of God’s love and grace that saved mankind through the flood. The Bible’s story is a picture of the salvation we have in Jesus Christ. By trusting in Him, He will save us from destruction and live with Him for eternity in Heaven.
My intention is not to divide people of faith on this movie. If you want to see it, that is your decision. But this is a serious look at what this movie claims to be and if it is even worth 138 minutes of my time.
I read Genesis chapters 6-10 this morning in less than 20 minutes, and got the message instantly. My real desire is to see people search the Scriptures for the truth it reveals and, one day, if filmmakers choose to start making more Biblical epics, they do so in an accurate and reverent way, and that they tell the same message as the Word of God rather than how they choose to interpret it.
I leave you with a more accurate version from my childhood. Thanks for reading!