Well, I did it

I went and saw the movie Noah…

She Who Must be Obeyed received some free passes to the movies from her boss at Christmas time, and we hadn’t used them, so thanks to General Jackson, we went and saw Noah this afternoon. I was really curious to see if it is as terrible as so many have reported in their blogs, and now I know.

It isn’t terrible.

It really depends on what your expectations are before you go, or so it seems to me. If you are expecting a really great Bible Study, made into a blockbuster movie, then you will hate it.  If you are expecting a Hollywood movie based around a story from the Bible, you might enjoy it.  For me, I never watch a movie expecting a Bible study.

Did they take liberties with the Genesis account?  Boy did they!  In some ways, it almost reminded me of Lord of the Rings at times.  Did they mock the Bible account of the flood and present the whole thing as absurd and stupid? No, not at all; movies are the wrong medium for that.

Sometimes, I think we Christians expect certain things from entertainment that aren’t realistic, and maybe we might even be irritated when the movie makers add things to the story.  In my view, this is silly.  Take the account of the real Noah story.  Noah and his family are cooped up in the ark for many weeks.  There isn’t a word in Genesis about what they talked about each morning over coffee is there?  Did they have bacon and eggs for breakfast, or did they have Cream of Wheat?  The Bible doesn’t waste space with such things, it tells us what we need to know to understand what the Bible is written for, and it is written to reveal Jesus Christ, not Noah’s favorite mid day snack.  If you are making a movie about the story, you have to fill in those rather large gaps to make the story interesting, otherwise your movie about Noah wouldn’t be much longer than 20 minutes, and it would be like watching a random series of 10 second snippets.  Thus, there is always going to be some creativity involved.

OK, I’ll concede that they were a little more creative than that…

Maybe we should consider a larger question. If you were going to make this movie, would you make it to better educate Christians on the story of Noah and his family, or would you direct it to a much broader audience by making it exciting, dramatic and compelling?  If that was your purpose, I’m guessing it would be unless you have millions of dollars to throw away, wouldn’t you hope to create a movie around a general version of a story that might make a non-Christian curious enough to look in the Bible to get the real story afterwards, maybe for the first time?  Bear in mind now, that millions of non-Christians have only heard the story of Noah and the ark when it is being ridiculed.

Consider what these movie makers have done, they’ve gotten people talking about a Bible story, and they aren’t just making fun of it.  Whatever their movie inventions might have been, I’m willing to take that as a small victory, and look for a chance to share my faith when the topic comes up, rather than just loudly criticizing it, how about you?

About Don Merritt

A long time teacher and writer, Don hopes to share his varied life's experiences in a different way with a Christian perspective.
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29 Responses to Well, I did it

  1. cathyjo1958 says:

    Don – I am with you. I believe it was a pretty creative movie. I think it would have been a good way to go – having the animals sleep for the 40 days. Smart idea!

    God is ultimately in charge and we are only human – why do we feel as Christians we have to be long in the face. God wants us to love and live and enjoy life, but remembering our purpose.

    Preach Brother – Yes I am the one who must be obeyed!!! LOL Cathy

  2. Rose F says:

    I haven’t seen this, but speaking as someone who didn’t grow up in the church, it doesn’t really matter to me whether a Hollywood movie is Biblically accurate. If church folks want that, there are plenty of “Bible on film” productions out there. Most of the exposure to the Bible I had growing up was from old movies like The Ten Commandments or a cartoon adaptation of The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. That was all I had from the time I was 8 years old until I was a teenager old enough to go looking for myself. I’d never have been allowed to see a real “Bible” movie.

  3. iRoswell says:

    I haven’t gone to see the movie myself, but probably will rent it when it comes out. Thanks for the perspective shift, as all I’ve read thus far is doom and gloom for the movie.

    This reminds me when Dreamworks did “The Prince Of Egypt.” All I read was how they wrecked the Biblical narrative and how it was horrible if a Christian parent showed their children the movie. But personally, I really enjoyed it. I’ve seen it several times since then, and I don’t think it messed up my son when he saw it for the first time.

    So I totally agree with you. As long as we can use it as a platform to share the Gospel, it’s a victory.

    • Don Merritt says:

      Interesting thing was that the movie began at 1:00 pm, but the place was packed in spite of the criticism. Interesting, I thought. I’ll have to check out the one you mentioned, I’m not familiar with that one…

      • Pam says:

        Thanks for your writeup on this movie. One staff member here has seen the movie. She said it was “intense.” That dd not give me much to think about. I knew when it was announced on television that it might embellish the story of Noah and the Ark. I did not know how much they would place details in it. I would like to see the movie, but I haven’t got the finances for it right now. As Christians, we should know that there would be embellishments to biblical accounts. I appreciate your perspective of this movie.

  4. Hello Don! Thanks a lot for this balanced account of the movie ‘Noah.’ It is absurd that most of the negative reviews one hears have came from people who are not Christians, some of whom have never even heard of Noah before the movie.

  5. William says:

    In a Hollywood sense, the bible is “in”. The mini-series was a megahit on cable last year. Thus the movies like “Noah” and a few others. I have a hunch someone will try to remake “The Ten Commandments”. Picturing Hugh Jackman as Moses. It makes money for Hollywood. Not sure the sincere intent. It all depends on who and how it is being made. The movie that caught my curiousity is not the high production block busters but the more potentially thinking “God Is Not Dead” with Kevin Sorbo. Looks like something that could be more of a thinking level. Not sure the production house who did it. Looked more independent, thus a more Christian based company? Not sure. If I was a network executive and I was to create a bibliclal era based drama, I would go at it by not the icons but by the everyman and woman and how it affects them first hand, then add the moral of the story. If that makes sense. But until Haney Broadcasting can get off the ground, I can only dream of it.

    • Don Merritt says:

      When Haney Productions is up and running, I have this great idea about a struggling young preacher set in the 1800’s…. actually though about writing it up as a novel…

  6. I’m not interested because they have no interest in educating people from a Biblical perspective. They are not interested in the story – they are only interested in one thing: $$$ (2 Peter 2:3).

  7. vwoods1212 says:

    Agreed; the bible is the source of truth if you are seeking it (paraphrase of course). 🙂

  8. iRoswell says:

    I just read a very interesting article that does look at the movie from a fully Biblical standpoint. It’s always good to know where the movie breaks from the Bible so one can be ready to defend the Bible.

    Here is the link if you’re interested.


  9. Thank you for a fleshy living believers look at the movie. As you said if the took the story straight from the bible it would have been a compilation of vine videos about 20 minutes long. They had to put a Hollywood spin on it. I wanted to see it this weekend but husband did not 😦 he bought into the bad reviews so we went and saw a worse movie….300 (BAD)

  10. Jim Kushner says:

    When a potential Hollywood blockbuster has the NY Times recommending that people read the biblical account themselves, then I think Christians ought to be thrilled! Another open door for discussion – what more could believers reasonably hope for?

    • Don Merritt says:

      No Kidding!!! I’ll take that any day: read it if you dare! The Word of God is a powerful thing… or should I say Person!

      • Pam says:

        I’ve been reading the comments here. I’ve already responded, but I want to add some more comments. I agree with those who said why should a believer think that the movie will be “biblical sound.” I agree with those who say it will arouse interest in what the Biblical account says. Thanks for the honest comments. I hope I can get a copy of it so I can see it for myself.

  11. sallyjadlow says:

    I find it sad that many people get their theology from movies like “Noah.” At the very end of Revelation a caution is given to anyone who would add to or take away from God’s word (Revelation 22:18-19). If I were these movie makers, I would be shaking in my boots about now.

  12. daylerogers says:

    Love your perspective. Logical and full of faith. Hopeful and honest. I don’t know why we as a Christian culture expect things to be so black and white–this is really a messed up world we live in. Thanks for your encouraging words.

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