Were early critics bowled over by Darren Aronofsky's new biblical epic?
Noah has received its world premiere in Mexico City where director Darren Aronofsky presented his biblical retelling at the Pepsi Centre with several members of the epic's cast. Official first reviews have been embargoed until the film's late March release date but early viewers took to Twitter to express their 140 character verdicts on the eagerly-anticipated movie.
The Epic, Russell Crowe-Starring 'Noah' Has Premiered In Mexico City.
The Black Swan director appeared at the premiere alongside Logan Lerman, Douglas Booth and Jennifer Connelly and, in a speech before the screening, warned the audience to expect the unexpected. "It's a very, very different movie," he said. "Anything you're expecting, you're f***ing wrong." Lead cast members Russell Crowe and Emma Watson were notable in their absence from the event.
"Despite being a bit uneven and too long, Darren Aronofsky's Noah is still a powerful experience with some stunning scenes," evaluated We Got This Covered whilst First Showing's Alex Billington was enthusiastic: "Noah - Aronofsky's take on biblical story is solid, with some amazing scenes + a focus on character above all. Loved most but not all of it."
THR reports that Noah received a pretty sedate response once the credits had started rolling with the audience applauding but remaining seated and mute. Mexico City-based W Radio critic Mario P. Szekely said he doubts the film will connect with Mexican audiences: "They won't connect emotionally with the main character because it betrays the essence of the biblical character, and the payoff just isn't good enough," he said.
Cinemagoer Veronica Muratalla, said: "In general I didn't like it. It seemed slow and I found it tiring" whilst a Manuel Salgado said the film was slow to start but thankfully gained momentum. "#Noah is a complicated film, but strong overall," tweeted Temple of Reviews' Nathan Adams, adding "The studio seems lost, but they at least have a good product to figure out how to sell."
At this stage, it's unlikely that the film will receive a Middle Eastern premiere date after Cairo's Islamic Al Azhar issued a fatwa - a religious injunction - against the film last week, claiming that the Christian bible adaptation would be provocative to Islamic believers.
Regardless of controversies, Aronofsky has stood by his belief that Noah isn't trying to be a religious movie. "Noah is the least biblical biblical film ever made," Aronofsky told the New Yorker. "I don't give a f**k about the test scores! My films are outside the scores. Ten men in a room trying to come up with their favourite ice cream are going to agree on vanilla. I'm the Rocky Road guy."
When Crowe's Noah receives a dark message from God, he realises that he is the only person who can save the world and so sets about building the enormous fabled ark with room to house a pair of every creature. However, when word gets out that Noah and his family are the only people God wants to keep alive, trouble brews and a siege esnsues, meaning Noah must work even harder to protect his loved ones from a growing threat.
Noah will be released on the 28th March in the USA and on the 4th April in the UK.