There was a touch of Star Wars in the new $150million Darren Aronofsky movie, Noah, that I saw the other day. Early in the movie viewers were introduced to the “Watchers”, strange rock-like robotic monsters that are apparently fallen angels, but seem to be more on the side of good than evil.
If you’re looking for a movie that reflects your Sunday School memories of Noah as a kind old gent who builds a Fisher-Price boat filled with pairs of cute and cuddly animals, you’re in for a shock. But if you’re prepared to hear the messages that Aronofsky weaves through the movie you’ll recognise some Biblical principles.
In an article in The Atlantic, Aronofsky talks about the Noah account as the fourth story in the Bible. “You go from creation to original sin to the first murder and then time jumps to when everything is messed up. The world is wicked. Wickedness is in all of our thoughts. Violence against man and against the planet.”
The director of “Requiem for a Dream”, “The Fountain” and “Black Swan” goes on: “And so it was so bad that He decides that He is going to destroy everything and destroy this creation. So what we decided to do was to align Noah with that character arc and give Noah that understanding: He understands what man has done, he wants justice, and, over the course of the film, learns mercy. What’s nice about that is that is how I think Thomas Aquinas defined righteousness: a balance of justice and mercy.”
While the Hollywood version of Noah is radically different from the Biblical version in many of the details, it is significant that both are one in presenting the central themes of justice and mercy. A just God will address the problem of evil, but will provide a means of escape for those who are prepared to accept his offer. If you’d like to explore these themes more, see the Bible version here, and hear me speak on Noah at Maida Vale Baptist Church, 24 Edney Road, High Wycombe, Sunday April 6 at 9.30am.