With the criticism regarding director Darren Aronofsky's Biblical adaptation, Noah, in full swing, star Russell Crowe offered his thoughts on all of it when speaking to the Associated Press at the New York premiere of the film on Wednesday:
We have endured 12 to 14 months of irrational criticism and now people are starting to see it and to realize how respectful it is, and how true to the source material it is and how intense of an experience it is in the movie theater, you know, so that's cool.
The biblical epic has definitely been the subject of much controversy for some time now, with some religious groups claiming that the story portrayed within the movie is inaccurate. Crowe rightfully points out, however, that once the movie is viewable for everyone in theaters, the public will get to decide for themselves whether or not the story is indeed inaccurate when compared to the tale in the Bible.
Personally, I expected this film to gain some unnecessary attention in the form of controversy. Those that really worship what is in the Bible become very personal with it, if you will. As a result, any slight deviation or change might very well offend those people. And, as far as I know, the Bible is not always interpreted the same way. In fact, I do not think it is meant to be interpreted literally. Because of this, it is really difficult to adapt a tale from the Bible without garnering some adamantly negative critics in return.
But, Oscar-winner Russell Crowe did not let that stop him from playing the title role. He also spoke to the AP about how he had wanted to work with Aronofsky:
(It was) kind of a long-standing desire to work with Darren, and having watched him develop as a filmmaker, having sat around and getting close, but never actually work together.
He then elaborated more specifically:
When he first came to talk to me about it, he brought a 40-page booklet of renderings of all the various sequences, sort of how he wanted the movie to look. And it was a combination of what he was going for and what was actually on the page that I felt would have a connection to people and that would resonate for me.
So, for Crowe, it seems like the idea of attaining a great opportunity to play the titular role in a Biblical adaptation outweighed all the negative aspects that would potentially arise from doing just that.
Moreover, it is important to note that the film has received generally positive reviews from critics. As an example, it currently holds a 78% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 94 reviews with the consensus, "With sweeping visuals grounded by strong performances in service of a timeless tale told on a human scale, Darren Aronofsky's 'Noah' brings the Bible epic into the 21st century."
Also, the film has received plenty of support from the Christian community. Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family (a Christian organization), stated this about it:
(Noah) is a creative interpretation of the scriptural account that allows us to imagine the deep struggles Noah may have wrestled with as he answered God's call on his life. This cinematic vision of Noah's story gives Christians a great opportunity to engage our culture with the Biblical Noah, and to have conversations with friends and family about matters of eternal significance.
I also believe that this film was meant to be sort of a conversation-starter about the tale in the Bible. It deals with the humanity of those involved, just as much as their respective relationships with their religious beliefs. Nevertheless, I think it is a movie worth watching.
Noah also stars Academy Award-winners Jennifer Connelly and Sir Anthony Hopkins, and Harry Potter star Emma Watson.
It opens in theaters today, so make sure you plan accordingly!