The upcoming Paramount film, "Noah," has largely received negative reviews from Christian audiences because of the liberty that director Darren Aronofsky took to veer from the Biblical text. Though the film had a large budget and a cast which includes Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Emma Watson, and Anthony Hopkins, many Christians - the intended target audience for the film - are disappointed with Hollywood's inaccurate portrayal of the word of God.
According to a recent survey, 98% of faith-driven consumers say that they are not satisfied with Paramount's "Noah." Chris Stone, founder of Faith Driven Consumer, says that the film is "widely reported to stray significantly from the core Biblical message of the actual story." Though director Darren Aronofsky says he respected the Bible throughout the production, he also divulged he aimed to "smash expectations of who Noah is," portraying him as a superhero who has to overcome a difficult challenge. Aronofsky also says he wanted to create a "fantastical world a la Middle-earth that [viewers] wouldn't expect from their grandmother's Bible school."
While the director had intended to appeal to a wide-range audience, he has greatly disappointed many Christians who long to see the Bible accurately portrayed on the big screen. The Christian Post reports that many believers who previewed the film in 2013 were upset by the movie's portrayal of Noah as a dark character - a stark contrast from the Biblical teaching that Noah was a righteous and faithful man.
Russell Crowe says he perceived Noah's character to be rather compassionless, and tried to portray this in the film. "The funny thing with people - they consider Noah to be a benevolent figure, because he looked after the animals," he said in an interview with ET - "Are you kidding me? This is a dude that stood by and watched the entire population of the planet perish. He's not benevolent, he's not even ... nice."
Nothing could be further from the truth, however; 2 Peter 2:5 calls Noah a herald of righteousness, indicating that he tried to persuade others who would perish to turn away from their sin and be saved. The Bible clearly states that Noah was righteous (see Genesis 6:9 and Genesis 7:1), and this is why he was saved from God's wrath. Hollywood's rewrite of the story in Genesis is an indication that they may not comprehend the depth of sin and the wrath that is due to those who do not repent and receive Christ's gracious and free gift of salvation (see Genesis 6:11-13, Ephesians 2:4-7, and Acts 2:37-40).
"It probably is more accurate to say this movie is inspired by the story of Noah," says Paramount's vice chair, Rob Moore. He says he believes that Christians will embrace the movie, and that the key themes in the Genesis account - "faith and hope and God's promise to mankind" - have been preserved in the film.
Paramount Pictures plans to release "Noah" on March 28.