THE REEL: How accurate is “Noah”?

THE REEL with Ben Conniff

By: Ben Conniff

If you haven’t seen the movie “Noah” yet, this piece contains spoilers that delve deeper into some of the film’s inconsistencies with the source material.

If you don’t want to know about the crazy stuff that’s in the movie before you see it, STOP READING NOW.

I mentioned in my review that there were giant rock monsters called “The Watchers” that help Noah build his ark. They’re fallen angels who chose to leave Heaven to help the humans on Earth. God punished them for defying him by encrusting them in rock and mud.

At first I thought, “Surely the stone Transformers did not help Noah build the ark. If Golemus Prime is anywhere in the Bible, then I’m Clint Eastwood.”

In doing a bit of research, I found some sources that reference “the apocryphal Books of Enoch.” “Apocryphal” means “of questionable authenticity.” Some might argue that word should apply to the entire Bible itself, but it typically refers to individual texts whose canonicity can’t be agreed upon. That’s why the Books of Enoch aren’t traditionally included in the Christian Bible.

It’s said that the Books of Enoch refer to all angels as “watchers,” with particular emphasis on a number of rebellious figures who defied God.

I couldn’t find anything that indicated any rock monsters, though.

At another point in the movie, Noah and his family find an abandoned Zohar mine, and I immediately noticed two problems with this.

First, the mines themselves look like something out of a 1950s sci-fi picture.

Broken pieces of machinery and old structures have a somewhat streamlined appearance. The production design looks as though it’s been influenced by steampunk.

Pretty sure that’s at least a few years after Noah’s time.

Second, Zohar is portrayed in the movie as this golden stone that, when crushed, has magical capabilities. It can light fires and, apparently, could be used as history’s earliest pregnancy test. It’s far-fetched enough, but what’s worse is that Zohar isn’t even an object in Genesis. In the Bible’s New International Version, Zohar is a person.

Zohar is mentioned as the father of Ephron and the son of Simeon when Abraham appeals to the Hittites for a burial site for Sarah.

Oddly enough, Noah is nowhere to be found in that story.

In the film, an army of malicious descendants from the line of Cain come to kill Noah’s family and capture the ark for themselves as the flood approaches. They’re led by the ruthless Tubal-Cain (Ray Winstone).

He’s in chapter 4 of Genesis and is described as one “who forged all kinds of tools out of bronze and iron.” However it’s unclear if he even lived during Noah’s time. Either way, he certainly never tried to steal the ark.

I could go on and on with discrepancies between the book and the movie forever. Noah’s family isn’t portrayed quite the same way it is in scripture, and it’s certainly never mentioned that Noah’s grandfather, Methuselah, had an obsession with berries.

Obviously Darren Aronofsky’s “Noah” presents much to discuss, so I encourage you to see the film and make judgments for yourself.