Yep…! I’m sure you’ve heard all about it: there’s another “Biblical” blockbuster showing at the movies. This time it’s the Aussie actor, Russell Crowe, starring as Noah in a movie by the same name. I’ve heard from some who have already seen it that it’s good entertainment, good cinematography and that it has a good story line.
Some people have asked me whether I’m planning to go and see it. The answer is: no! Let me give you two personal reasons why I won’t be watching the movie and then share some observations that others have made about this movie.
First, I’ve developed a dislike for Biblical blockbusters from Hollywood because of the liberties the film industry invariably takes with the Biblical story. The problem is that in the process the Biblical story often becomes distorted. In Cecil B de Milne’s The Ten Commandments the movie portrays the conflict between Moses, who has been brought up in the palace, and the new Pharaoh. When Moses is found out to have killed an Egyptian Moses is banished by the young Pharaoh. However the Biblical storyline is that when Moses learned that his killing of the Egyptian was common knowledge he fled from Egypt. This is just a small example of how movies distort the Biblical narrative. I have a high view of Scripture. It is the Word of God. It’s important that we translate it accurately and faithfully from the original languages. For me it is no less important that biblical movies remain faithful to the Scriptures and I get increasingly annoyed when they don’t.
Second, it’s understandable that to make a movie of a Biblical story, a film director and actors have to use some imagination when they present a Bible story on film. The reality is that we just don’t have enough information to limit ourselves to the Biblical details – the Bible doesn’t describe everything in detail so somewhere along the line movie directors and actors have to fill the gaps. Incidentally, this is true not only for Biblical stories but it’s true for any instance where a book is turned into a movie. My problem is that I have my own imagination of how a certain Biblical scene may have appeared and I don’t want my imagination of the story distorted by someone else’s imagination – particularly not when that “someone else” doesn’t share my concern for the integrity of God’s Word.
So much for my own personal “hang-ups” with Biblical blockbusters, but what are Christians saying who have seen the movie?
The movie, Noah, promotes evolution. Noah tells the story of how creatures appeared in the ocean and then evolved into land animals and man. It nowhere points out that man is made in the image of God – something that the Bible mentions at both the beginning and the ending of the Noah story.
The main builders of the ark are angels who fell from heaven and became giant six-armed rock creatures. They are befriended by Noah (the cynic in me says “possibly just an excuse for some more computer graphic animation”.
Noah decides that God actually meant him to kill everyone and so end the human race. So in the ark he even considers killing his own grand-daughter. Grand-daughter? Hey the Bible clearly says that there were only eight people on the ark.
The film’s villain successfully sneaks onto the ark by using an axe to cut a hole, befriends Noah’s son Ham to plot against his father and kill Noah.
Let me conclude with a quotation of one man’s bottom line. Cyrus Jannsen came to the following conclusion. “Watching this movie left a chilling effect on me as I left the theatre. I was outraged, upset, and simply mortified that a story of such epic proportions could be twisted around and retold in a way that leaves audiences completely void of the truth. I shouldn’t be surprised though, the film’s director Darren Aronofsky is a self-proclaimed Atheist and yet this man directed the film! But as I researched more to find out the truth I found his self-proclaimed goal was to make Noah the “least Biblical Biblical movie”. Aronofsky seems to have done the impossible: he took a Biblical story and made it into a secular film that does not mention God once.”