Evolution sucks! Secular wisdom sucks! Dressing up monkeys and saying awaah look how cutely human he looks-Sucks!… And this movie ssuuuaaAArrrhh I can’t do it! … I enjoyed it damn it…. I must admit part of me wished it did-sure a parts of it were set up to support one side of the argument, but the acting, production values, the 1850’s historical setting and his…. Life story, just won me over.
It didn’t win me over from the start to be sure. Using classic old tricks of making fun of the Church and faith. Early in the movie Darwin tells the story to his children of how it made no difference to the lives of children from an island tribe. Highlighting its “complete failure”, which made his children and the audience giggle. He had a good friend who was the local Reverend and teacher of their village. He miss named an insect and used harsh discipline on his daughter cut to church singing “all things bright and beautiful all creatures great and small”. It then shows the preacher telling the congregation a classic non biblical sermon that death and misery exist as Gods loving tools of discipline.
But my negative view began to be warn down as the tension grew. His wife is deeply religious and as the movie progresses what little faith he has is lessened while hers is increased. And so we’re introduced to a man pulled apart, as he loves his wife and children dearly but sees his work destroying his most cherished relationships. This comes crashing down on his shoulders when his friend tells him, “well done you’ve killed God and good riddance to him”.
I also must spend a sentence or two on cinematography, wonderful. One shot took my breath away where a microscope POV of tiny glowing sea creatures dissolves to blossom caught in the wind. And as things fell apart in his life the colours grew bleaker, camera angles became unnatural and the acting. The Acting was something special, Jennifer Connelly as Emma Darwin. She had to portray an icy religious zealot who was worried about her husbands eternal soul and a loving mother and wife maintaining a home trying to protect and hold everything together. Paul Bettany, as Charles Darwin. I tell you Paul Bettany nailed it as a tortured soul you couldn’t help but follow him through to the end. I think he must have used the healing technique used in the movie on himself every morning to get into character, I take what ever I’m wearing on my head, off.
The world of England, 1850 is a scary place if your sick, as our main character often was. Bleeding was still in fashion , strange medicines with poisonous sounding ingredients and what seamed the leading edge at the time, to ‘take water’. Which amounted to large quantities of cold water been dumped on you from a great height.
So by the third act I was hooked by all the detail and value that had been invested into, ‘Creation’. I’m the MovieSlayer and I’ll give away the ending or the so called twist if I don’t respect a movie. But here I must… Respect.. Respect where this movie takes you.. It takes you to a place where you start blubbering that’s where it takes you.. It. Is. Moving, and as far as the ‘great debate’. I don’t see it changing anyone’s mind, as both sides of the debate will take moments from it. From a uncaring and powerless church, to the weight of death and the meaning of life is a constant theme, “a war with God you cannot win”, “So much beauty with so little purpose”.
As a Christian I went in ready for the cheap shots (they did dress up a monkey), took them as the nature of the world we live in, and was amazed by the rest.
Reviewed by: MovieSlayer
Starring: Jennifer Connelly, Paul Bettany, Jeremy Northam, Toby Jones, Jim Carter, Benedict Cumberbatch
Directed by: Jon Amiel
Genre: Drama, Biography, Adaptation
Duration: 1hr 48mins