Starring: Robert Strauss, Geoffrey Holder, Sally Kirkland
Director: Daniel Bourla
Running Time: 107 mins
The Noah is an American film about the last surviving man on the planet after a nuclear holocaust, and the imaginary community that he creates to keep his sanity whilst stranded on a desert island.
It would be easy to dismiss this film as dull, and although there’s no doubting the fact that I found this film very boring, I’m going to try to explain why this film’s very unique concept just didn’t come together in the end.
That’s what I’ve got to give the film kudos for: it’s an original idea: not just being stranded on a desert island, but assessing a man’s insanity by recreating a world all from his memory and imagination. Also, you can’t fault the filmmakers for having a real stab at this weird way of showing the insanity that comes with isolation, and some of the sequences, especially those using historical recordings, were interesting to see attempted.
However, in the end, it just doesn’t work, largely because it’s impossible to get engrossed in this film. It’s an interesting story, but it’s such an inaccessible way of presenting it, with unthinkably slow pacing, and a very pretentious latter stage that borders on the incomprehensible, and that all comes together to not only make this hard to understand, but exhausting to get through, being one of the heaviest film that I know I’ll ever see.
One of the other things that frustrated me about this film was Richard Strauss’ performance. His chemistry with the voices in his head is weirdly brilliant in the opening stages, and it makes for some intrigue, but it’s his descent from isolation to insanity to complete madness as the film goes on that I just didn’t buy.
His performance is ultimately not only intriguing, but it’s annoying. He shouts his way through minutes on end of dialogue with himself, so loudly and incessantly that it just hurt my ears watching it, and was perhaps one of the most painful and draining periods of a film I’ve ever seen.
Overall, this gets a 5.9, because despite showing initial promise with a bold concept, this film’s ultimately pretentious nature, frustrating central performance and horrifically slow pacing is what made it a very dull watch for me.