Many Conservative Christians dislike the film's lack of religious dogma. Good.
Before I discuss the “controversies” surrounding the release of the new Noah movie, I must say I have not seen the movie yet. Having laid that out, I am also not critiquing the movie. I am critiquing the reaction that so many conservative Christians have towards it.
When news broke that director Darren Aronofsky was releasing a film, staring an ensemble cast, about the re-telling of Noah’s Ark, many had mixed feelings. Early on, many atheists and secularists were skeptical of the film while Christians seemed to be praise the idea. However, since the films release, the reactions have flipped.
Conservative Christians have attacked the Noah movie on many different grounds. Some I find rather hilarious. Die hard Christians do not like the way the movie portrays Noah. Many have called it the “least biblical film about Noah, ever.” Again, I haven’t seen the movie, but those who have say that Russel Crowe’s depiction of Noah borders along psychotic. Noah is depicted as mildly schizophrenic, therefore Christians feel the movie makes Noah shine in a negative light when he should clearly be glorified as a servant of the one and true God.
The same people also criticize the film for not telling the story of the Ark accurately, or at least as the bible tells it. Several Christian memes have been popping up on the web laying out their reasons of why the film is inaccurate. For example, an army of men were trying to take the Ark by force from Noah, while Noah tried to keep them out. The bible apparently claims that Noah wanted to invite everyone aboard but that sin kept them away.
Another reason is that God in the movie is only referred to as “The Creator.” Maybe Aronofsky chose to use the creator over God in order to tone down the idea of it being a “religious” film. In fact, many who have seen it (aside from right-wing Christians) are saying that the movie isn’t that religious at all, even though its religious inspiration is obvious. Personally, I don’t have a problem with it, and now I am actually interested in seeing this movie.
Apparently, the movie also depicts Noah as an environmentalist who places prime concern in rescuing animals over people. This angered conservative Christians as well. They’re sure Noah was not a “radical environmentalist.” It just gets more ridiculous as it goes.
Its like Clash of the Titans. Everyone knows Clash of the Titans is a movie based inherently on Greek Mythology. Despite this, Clash of the Titans is not a “religious” movie in the sense that it is trying to sway the audience with a pious message. More or less Noah, like Clash of the Titans, is using the mythology to entertain and sway the audience in a very different way. I personally think that’s a good thing.
Many secularists I am sure would agree that using religious stories as entertainment or literature are fine and in fact encouraged, as these texts give insight into the development of early human civilizations. But for conservative Christians, they want the movies and texts to be used to subject people to their religion and believe the stories are historic fact.
Some biblical historians have said the film does not portray the events as “historically accurate.” Sigh. Noah’s Ark never happened. You can’t have historical accuracy for events that never took place. Let’s go back to Clash of the Titans. How many people would criticize the movie for not being “historically accurate”? Almost no one would.
I think that conservative Christians need to understand that Darren Aronofsky never intended for the film to serve as a religious recruiting tool. His intentions were to re-tell the story in a way that would grab broad audiences, give insight into different themes the original story was playing on. I am now considering seeing the movie for the entertainment value that it appears to offer. If I can give Clash of the Titans a chance, I think Noah deserves a just look.