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Noah offers creative interpretation on Bibilical story

Many directors have taken on the challenge of producing movies based on stories from the Bible. However, these types of projects are not easy, because the stories in the Bible are often brief, uneven or inconsistent. In other words, they do not serve well as modern screenplays. This may be one reason that many Bible-based movies do not receive good reviews, and those that do well often differ significantly from the original story. In the new movie "Noah," director Darren Aronofsky finds a way to make one of Western society's most famous stories into a tale to which modern people can relate. 

An initial challenge for Aronofsky was that the biblical story of Noah and the flood was rather brief. It contained little of the plot detail and character development that would be necessary for an engaging film. However, instead of seeing the brevity of the story as a limitation, the director took it as an opportunity, using his own creativity to fill out the storyline, the characters and even the setting. The result is a gripping story that appeals to audiences in a manner similar to that of fantasy adventure films such as "Lord of the Rings."

In the world created by Aronofsky, Noah, played by Russell Crowe, and his wife and children are descended from Seth, who was a peaceful, early character of the Bible. They live in the wild areas and do not hunt or eat meat. On the other hand, all through the land there are members of an aggressive group descended from Cain, and this group is seeking to take the ark before the flood. God has chosen Noah to build the ark and survive the flood with his family, letting the rest of the world die because it has become too evil. For this army, commandeering the ark is the only hope for survival as the rains begin. Cain manages to smuggle himself on board before floodwaters undo creation.

As the central character in the movie, Noah is a man obsessed with his faith and obedience to the Creator. His focus on the ark and impending flood is so intense that he seems almost like a maniac. He is determined to do as he is told by the Creator even if that means the rest of the world must drown. We can view him not as a mythical character but as a human being whose obsession with doing what he thinks is right is making him seem insane even to his own family. The bleak, desolate landscapes of the world before the flood lend to the ominous atmosphere as we see the evils that humankind has inflicted on the planet. The film is punctuated by computer-generated graphics of the flood and of battle scenes, giving modern moviegoers a taste of the grand action that they have come to inspect.

In all, "Noah" is a powerful adaptation of an ancient story. The director has taken liberties with the plot and characters where the original story did not provide full details. As a result, this movie is a highly relatable and entertaining tale of a man with single-minded devotion to his god.

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