Saturday, April 24, 2010

Creation - 1/2*

I'm not sure if it is intentional or not, but Creation succeeds in doing what most biopics, or film adaptations in general, cannot: it makes you forget the source material and focus on what is actually on the screen. In this case, you forget that this is a movie about Charles Darwin and focus on the fucking idiot portrayed on-screen. I guess it's probably unintentional.

The makers of the film seem to think that viewers need a background on who Charles Darwin is, so the opening text reads something like, "The arguments put forth in Charles Darwin's The Origin of Species are among the most important ideas in the history of thought." I believe that anyone who wasn't aware of Charles Darwin before the film would think that statement is a lie, because Darwin the character never says or does anything intelligent in the film, or anything very interesting either.

The opening text continues with, "This is the story of how he wrote it," which is misleading, to say the least. One would think that that statement means that the film will be about how Darwin the man came up with his ideas-- what he observed or what experiments he used to test his theories. But what you get is Darwin the character brooding over his dead daughter and his cold, distant wife. When it opens he has already formulated his theories, but refuses to write them down, because he doesn't want to offend his wife by publishing ideas that oppose the church's teachings. The whole time I was watching it, the only thing I could think was, "Why is this a film about Charles Darwin?

The opening text should read, "This is the story of how he decided to publish it." That story involves a series of dreams or delusions or fantasies, hallucinations, whatever, who cares involving the dead daughter mixed with a series of scenes in which Darwin the character has a spiritual crisis, thinking that he would be a bad person for publishing his theories. I hope that this was a fabrication created with the hope that it would imbue a boring, nonsensical, confusing film with some drama, because why would a brilliant scientist worry that he would go to Hell for exposing belief in a lie? I don't know, and I don't think the film has the answer. The tagline for the film is "Faith evolves," but I'm not really sure what that means. I don't have any idea what the film's stance on faith is at all, but if Darwin the man is as foolish and illogical as Darwin the character, then maybe we should reconsider the theory of evolution.

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