I saw the Noah movie a week ago, and decided to let it sit and stew with me for a while before writing my thoughts. I’m not sure what I was hoping for- maybe an epiphany or maybe a memory lapse, but it seems I can’t shake Noah, and now everyone and their dog is giving their humble (or not so humble) opinion, so I’m diving into the floodwaters, too.
SPOILER ALERT: First off, if you haven’t seen the movie yet and don’t want to be pre-warned of the goings-on, you might want to stop about now and come back post-show… but if you have viewed Noah, or have no intention of seeing it, or want the heads-up BEFORE you go, feel free to join me and my musings…
I would never be naïve enough to assume Hollywood would create an epic movie based on a Biblical account and NOT beef it up. Isn’t that why we go to the movies? To see larger-than-life stories and be wowed? And after this one, I was certainly saying, “Wow…”
Personally, I was quite looking forward to seeing a Russell Crowe-esque Noah, as I always wondered if the old guy would be at least a little more ripped than the storybooks depict. He helped build a gigantic ark after all. I was cool with the jeans replacing the long dress, and could handle Noah going all “Gladiator” and slaying a bunch of hoodlums (understandable from Crowe- he’s good at that stuff), but I honestly couldn’t stand Noah as a person. He was mopey and bitter and not at all how I see him here in Genesis 6:9 “Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God.” He went stir crazy in the ark- somewhat understandable- to the point where he was all set to murder his newborn twin granddaughters- so not understandable. His relationship with God was non-existent, and once the whole ordeal was over, he was a depressed mess rather than a redeemed child of God. I would have been tempted to push him overboard, quite honestly.
Do you remember the song: “Who built the ark? No-ah, No-ah, Who built the ark? Noah, Noah built the ark.”?
I have no recollection of any giant transformer rock angels being involved in the lyrics. And I checked- these characters are not in the Bible! It was hard to miss them, these massive fallen angels with cement issues, and it kind of bugged me that they did most of the ark building. But at least there WAS an ark in the movie! And even though a baddie king also managed to sneak inside along with the menagerie, (no, that’s not in the Bible either), the basics were there: Noah, ark, animals, flood. But come to think of it, I don’t recall hearing the word “GOD” in the entire movie. How strange…
The saddest thing of all for me, was the fact that I sat in a jam-packed theatre filled with people of all ages who came to see the story of Noah. They knew it would be edgier than the original account, and they expected special effects and a few awesome fighting scenes. But they missed the whole point of the story. GOD. His plan, His love for Noah and the family, His promise to never flood the entire earth again. The picture of salvation and redemption. The perfectly just God was portrayed simply as the mean god. And like I said, God wasn’t actually mentioned… it was “the Creator”. This creator who seemed to love animals more than mankind, who disappeared from the picture, who wanted Noah to kill his grandkids so that earth would be perfect containing animals only….ARGH! Frustrating? Yes. However, I’m a glass-half-full kind of girl, so in spite of this messed up movie, there has to be something positive we can lean into:
I have to believe that anyone who goes to watch this Noah movie is at least a little curious, whatever their beliefs and faith. Curious about the Hollywood version, curious about the accuracy of the story, curious about who else would be watching. As I glanced around the theatre last week, I saw grandparents who were probably thoroughly confused/ disgusted by the depiction of the Biblical account. I saw families, possibly wondering how much of this movie was true. And I saw teens and kids- many of whom I would wager have never even read a Bible or set foot in a church. They would be vaguely familiar with Noah- something about an ark, animals and a flood. But for all these dear viewers, if nothing else, they saw something that has the potential to start a conversation. Befuddled or bemused, they will talk about Noah at work, at school, across the dinner table, or on social media. They will think and muse and wonder.
As Christians, most of us will be thoroughly disappointed with the Noah movie. But would I suggest going to see it? Absolutely. If nothing else, it will give you the heads-up to discuss it with your friends and family. And here’s the thing- we should PRAY. For the THOUSANDS of people who watch this movie, that a SPARK would be ignited, something like curiosity and seeking, causing them to actually read the truth in Genesis, and find the God who saves. That’s pretty exciting, right? Lemons into lemonade.
God can use anyone and anything He chooses to bring people to Him.
Even a movie about Noah.
I’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions! Talk soon…