I enjoyed the movie Noah. I thought that it was beautifully symbolic and psychologically insightful about human nature.
A few minutes into the movie, I realized that this version of Noah was very different from the Bible story that I had grown up with. I had a feeling that it would be, but I had purposefully avoided reading reviews, because I wanted to be surprised by the movie. (I wrote about why I was looking forward to seeing it in my last blog post.)
In order to get something out of the movie Noah, I chose to look at it as its own story. If I had watched it with the hopes of seeing the Bible story recreated on the screen, I would have walked out of the movie feeling disappointed.
Instead, I chose to see it as the journey of a family, six people who love one other and are trying to survive in a dark world. (At times, I also felt like I was watching a well-acted version of The-Croods-meet-the-zombie-apocalypse.)
Most of the family members have their own internal struggles. Noah is trying to figure out how to follow God and lead his family. His wife is trying to care for their children, no matter what the cost. The oldest son, Shem, and his wife struggle with infertility. The middle son, Ham, battles with the loneliness of not having a partner.
This movie illuminated something very significant about the Bible for me. I think that I’ve subconsciously thought of many Biblical figures as two-dimensional characters. (I probably shouldn’t see them that way, as a Christian, but I have.) I’ve read about Noah and Abraham and Moses. They carry out God’s plan, but what was really going on inside their heads? According to the Bible, these men had great faith and conviction, but did they also have moments when they asked themselves, Why am I doing this again?
Many of us who believe in God have tried to figure out what God’s will is for our lives. We ask ourselves the question, Why was I created? This movie shows how Noah tries to discover God’s will for his life by paying attention to what God reveals to him through knowledge, his dreams, trusted advice, and life circumstances.
Later, after he fulfills several phases of the “clear” plan, he must battle between what his mind and his heart tell him that he should do next.
I think that most of us as human beings have gone through a similar journey. We ask ourselves, What should I do next? Often, like Noah, we simply decide to do our best with what we know, what we feel, and what we have no control over.