31 March 2015 | Prismark10
The oncoming storm
Writer Tony Jordan has gone to a back to basics re-telling of the story of Noah. Less of the actual floods and the animals going two by two. After all this is a BBC television movie and the budget was never going to be mega unless Russell Crowe had signed on.
David Threlfall plays Noah and Joanne Whalley plays his loyal wife with their three grown up sons living a hard working life in the desert (it was filmed in Morocco.) Noah is committed to God but a visit to the local market town with his son shows him a life there without belief where violence, faithlessness and cheating is close at hand.
This version has the family in the centre of the drama as well as faith. When Noah gets a visit from God's messenger, family loyalties are put to the test as he goes about building an ark first by himself, then helped by his wife before the rest of the family pitch in which is made to look like hard even bad breaking work.
The film tries to be a modern small scale parable with its comparison to a world of science and bankers although I think it does not entirely carry it off as it comes too close to be rather preachy. The film also disappoints as it strips maybe too much of the familiar traits of the tale such as the animals going to the ark as well as the flooding.
Threlfall is a stern but kind hearted Noah who puts his love of the family first and he does well to be the centre of the film although I guess some viewers would find the northern accents rather off putting and accuse it of being a Shameless in the Desert which is rather unfair.