I get that Hollywood will take liberties with biblical stories. There’s not enough information in the biblical account of Noah to make a full length movie so that means a movie maker will have to use some imagination and creative license to tell a compelling story. Hollywood has a long history of taking previously told stories and finding a new take on them that they feel speaks to our current culture. There are many movies that are “based on a true story” such as the recent Oscar winning hit Argo or one of my favorites The Rookie, which was about the improbable rise of high school baseball coach, Jim Morris, to the major leagues. Inevitably the movie producers change the actual facts of the story to make it more dramatic and appealing. I expected that with this movie.
I had the curious experience of reading a review of the movie in the newspaper and finding that the critic thought it was wonderful. I kept thinking, “did this person see the same movie I did?” As we were going to our car in the parking lot we had a brief conversation with some people we didn’t know who happened to park right next to us. They had also seen Noah. They felt it was laughably bad. At least I’m not alone in my opinion. It has been quite a surprise to learn then, that the movie is receiving many positive reviews. This is a movie that seems to engender these kinds of extremes in reactions, at times even from the same person. Ty Burr of the Boston Globe said it is “equal parts ridiculous and magnificent.”
I suppose that is the nature of the movie making business. There will often be opinions on exact opposite ends of the spectrum and everything in between as well. I’ve noticed this also when looking at reviews of hotels and restaurants on Trip Advisor and Yelp. I end up wondering if these people ate at the same restaurants and stayed at the same hotels because their opinions are so diametrically opposed. Perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised when that happens with a movie also. But I find myself wondering if the opinions of pro-Noah critics would be the same if the movie had told a story that carried the biblical message. I suspect such a movie would have received a much cooler response. Whatever the case, I have to admit if someone asked me if they should go see this movie I’d tell them to not bother. Just one man’s opinion.