Darren Aronofsky's "Noah" is not just one of the most ambitious films I've seen this year, it's one of the most ambitious films I've ever seen. It's a movie that is spilling over with ideas and images and emotional explorations of the metaphysical. It's a movie in which shamanic culture is part of the same tradition as fallen seraphim and blatant miracles. It tells a story that is so familiar at this point that it has no impact whatsoever and tells it in a way that is constantly pushing and challenging the viewer. Whatever your idea of the story of "Noah" is, Aronofsky, along with his co-writer Ari Handel, has found a distinct and different way into it, and what he's made is going to be worth conversation all year long.
One of the first things that strikes you when reading the Bible is just how much of it is concerned with lineage. Family trees are incredibly important in the Old Testament, and this film kicks off with a very simplified explanation. In the beginning, there was the garden. There was the fruit. Temptation. The snake. Cast out. Adam and Eve have three sons, Cain, Abel, and Seth. Cain and Abel take their act on the road and Seth and his descendants take care of the relationship with the Creator. Noah is shown to be the youngest descendent of Seth at the start of the film, and he sees his father killed by Men, sons of Cain whose industrial cities have choked the planet with waste and evil.