I love movies so was delighted to get the chance to attend an early screening of the much talked about Hollywood epic, Noah, in London last week. I was aware, of course, of the controversy about whether the movie stays ‘faithful’ to the Bible story of Noah, but I resolved to simply watch the film as I’d watch any other: with the expectation of being entertained, engaged and maybe learning one or two things along the way. I wasn’t disappointed, so here are four reasons why I think the Noah movie is worth watching:
1. It will entertain you
The Noah movie truly is a feast for the eyes! As well as being brilliantly and convincingly acted by a star-studded cast, its $125 million budget has allowed the movie’s creators to let their imaginations run free and create a world of breathtaking beauty, bleak savagery and with unexpected touches of science fiction and fantasy. You may be expecting epic scenes of watery turmoil, which are, indeed, delivered with astonishing realism, but gigantic, tragic, deformed fallen angels? Perhaps not!
2. It will make you feel
When you read the Noah story in the Bible, it contains a vivid description of what happened but it doesn’t describe how Noah or his family felt about the dramatic events they were caught up in. This is where the movie really excels because it is an emotional roller-coaster! You feel Noah’s heavy heart, burdened by the knowledge that God is intending to destroy humanity; you empathise with Ham’s frustration and rage at the unfairness of life; and you share the despair and disappointment of Noah’s wife as she sees her husband descend into hopelessness and an uncharacteristic cruelty.
3. It will make you think
Noah is one of those movies that you’ll find yourself thinking about long after you’ve watched it because it’s not just a story about a man who builds an Ark to save his family and the animals from a flood. It’s a story that, among other things, explores our relationship with nature, our understanding of who God is, and what it means to be human and ‘made in God’s image’.
4. It is getting the Bible ‘out there’
Very few people out there know much about the Bible or read it with any regularity, so when Hollywood decides to screen a movie based on a Bible story, it’s a cause for celebration. Yes, it may not be the exact replica of the story as told in Genesis 6-7, but it’s getting people interested in the Bible. YouVersion reports that “in the days after Noah hit theatres, people opening the Noah story through the Bible App increased by about 300% in the US and 245% globally”. And that will no doubt increase as the movie is rolled out in more and more countries. So do watch the Noah movie…and be prepared for some interesting conversation with Christians and non-Christians alike!
Check out these free Noah movie resources for use in schools, churches and small groups, provided by Damaris Media.
Read the Noah story in the Bible (Genesis 6:9 – Genesis 9:29)
Articles about the Noah movie:
Noah’s Ark would have floated…even with 70,000 animals (Telegraph, April 3)
Darren Aronofsky responds to Noah criticisms (Total film, April 3)
After Noah: 5 Bible Stories Destined for the Big Screen (Time, March 31)
Noah: inspired by the Bible … and Darren Aronofsky’s seventh grade poem (The Guardian, March 31)