April 4, 2014

M.L. Guida’s Villains

Recently, I went to see the movie, Noah, with Russell Crowe. If you haven’t seen this movie, I do have spoilers. I’ve seen posts where he is described as a hero. A hero is someone who risks everything to do the right thing such as firefighters rushing into the burning Twin Towers building in New York or police officers who respond to domestic violence calls where a gunman is threatening to kill his family. A hero is not someone who ponders killing his own children or leaves a helpless girl to be trampled to death.

Is Noah a villain in the movie? No, he’s not. He’s a religious zealot and by the way, not for God, for the Creator. Not once in the movie is the Creator referred to as God. His obsession to save the animals is noble, but his desire to wipe out the human race is not. Even if you wanted to follow Machiavelli’s philosophy that man is evil, does that justify man being destroyed? I believe in hope and in this movie, Noah has definitely lost his.

There are no male heroes in this movie. Villains abound. Nick Nolte’s Samyaza is disgusting, but even this character isn’t truly developed. A good villain has plausible reasons on why he commits atrocities. In Silence of the Lamb, Buffalo Bills kills women and skins them to make a women’s suit since he’s been denied a sex change operation. Horrifying? Yes. But it makes him a powerful villain. Samyaza is your basic evil guy that takes what he wants. Weak motivation.

If there was one character I did like, it was Emma Watson’s Ila. Noah and his family find Ila after her family is attacked. She is wounded and based on her wounds, cannot bear children. She fights to survive throughout the movie and isn’t afraid to stand up to Noah and his zealousness. Something Noah’s sons and wife are not able to do.

The movie could be stronger if the motivations had been believable. What did you think? Was a Noah a hero or a villain?

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