Published on Apr 23 2014 // Filmmaking, Guest Articles

No matter whether you are an atheist or agnostic or believer.  I intend not this writing to fall into your good looks, but aims to take you through ahead of what Darren Aronofsky’s NOAH 2014 has presented on screen. I trust Darren Aronofsky had the same strands in his mind while hunching for plots – to present an elaborate version of mainstream NOAH story.

To begin with …

Long ago, when human beings increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any one of them they chose. Then the Lord said, “My spirit will not contend with humans forever, for they are mortal.

The Nephilim (The Nephilim were the offspring of the “sons of God” and the “daughters of men” according to Genesis 6:4; and giants who inhabited Canaan according to Numbers 13:33. A similar biblical Hebrew word with different vowel-sounds is used in Ezekiel 32:27 to refer to dead Philistine warriors) were on the earth in those days and also afterward – when the sons of God went to the daughters of human and had children by them. They are Nephilim, heroes of old, men of renown.

God saw how great the wickedness of human race had become on the earth, every inclination of the thought is evil at all times. God regretted and his heart was deeply troubled for the creation of human race on the earth. So the Lord said, “I will wipe from the face of earth the human race I have created and with them all the living things with it”.  But Noah, found favour in the eyes of the Lord.

Noah was a righteous man, blameless amongst the people of his time, Noah had three sons – Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Noah walked faithfully with God, Noah is not alone.

The earth was full of corrupt in God’s sight and with full of violence. So God said to Noah, “I am going to put an end to all the people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. So make yourself an ark of cypress wood, make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out. I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens and every creature that has breath of life in it. But I will establish my covenant with you, you will enter the ark – You and your sons and your wife and your sons’ wives with you. Two of every kind of species will come to you to be kept alive. Take the food and store it”. Noah did everything that god has commanded.

NOAH – a cinematic code as a signifier signifies the significance of biblical source in the films’ content and by defining the intellectual and interpretative frameworks, film drags audience to the biblical context as a pre-requisite for better understanding of the film. Hollywood has been obsessed with the books and its adaptations, however intertextuality is an integral part of any movie in its own ways and forms. Noah has adapted the plot from the writings of bible book Genesis 16 and the truth of director taking liberty and tweaking to obtain his own form is evitable.



Well! We should oblige to the fact that always the defined message is different from actual message. The filmmakers define Noah as not an attempt to reproduce the biblical NOAH story, but as an attempt to reflect the midrash – the Jewish rabbinical tradition of stories and interpretations meant to explore beyond Torah – Scripture narratives.

It is evident with a disclaimer that comes in the beginning stating the persons and events are fictitious. Any similarity to actual persons or events is unintentional. The line is ducked among the titles of the film in a small, spinning font Tolkien esque.

Whilst the above said expression is a white lie undoubtedly, but revealed the intention of another hint to perceive film as an art work, not as an evangelic expression.

Am in not swirling around Evangelism and Realism. It seems ok to me as I am in a state what I am.

Let’s analyse the film from Artistic criticism. We are told to believe certain uncertainties – it’s the core of the belief system, where miracles work but not the science. What if, someone questions against the text that were told to believe in it. What if, an individual draw his own interpretations and going beyond the texts in search of untold, often neglected by questioning it to the core.

Name it a Post – Structuralist, as an attempt to foresee the unseen and hearing the unheard by Q&Aing the same. Don’t you find a common trait between the Post – Structuralist and Midrashi perception?

Reading against and beyond the text is a thin layer that is woven in common between Post Structuralist and Midrashi tradition of interpreting texts.

To do so, Darren Aronofsky had to formulate two features in support of the main plot. Firstly, the posterities of Cain attack on Noah in an attempt to seize capture ark and God’s message to Noah that his family not to enter ark and survive. Noah vows to kill the babies if they are girls when Shem’s wife become pregnant. To stop the evil, Noah has to make a vow and insist Shem to be a man and take the responsibility of your family, in fact it is being responsible to the word of God. Rhetorical representation of the good and evil, Noah’s determination to stop evil (Cain – one abuses and reiterates and Abel – One being loved and loves the lord) and live by the word of the creator.

The above stated two instances prove the hybridization of text to reproduce a new one.

“The name of the movie is NOAH and it is the story of a Noah’s Ark” – Darren Aronofsky. Rightly said that Noah’s Ark is the central and significant base of the film, upon which the whole web of functions survived. The film is both an auditory and visual treat that sutures audience in a pre-modern era. The Special Effects of the film makes a vibe in the spine.

The set of an Ark is rough, rugged and such a realistic that reflects the emergency to build a vessel for the survival.

Noah is a drama and adventure sailing through the impossible times that teaches how people should act and respond. Noah is a film that renovates the popular Christian Noah myth and reflects the humanistic and environmental standpoint.

Article by – Vidya Sagar, Film Activist.


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