**WARNING!!! This post contains a review of Creation. It may turn out to be an extensive post so please grab yourself a cup of tea and a warm blanket and Enjoy! Be careful and read not this post if you did not see the movie or read the book or know anything about the life of Charles Darwin, this piece comes with spoilers ;)**
A few days ago I was telling you about this interesting piece of work I have finished reading: Creation - The true story of Charles Darwin, written by his great great grandson Randall Keynes. The book was found so wonderful that BBC embarked on a journey with Recorded Picture Company and HanWay Films and released in 2009 the biographic drama starring Paul Bettany as Charles Darwin (whom you may remember as the albino monk Silas, from the thrilling adaptation of the book The Da Vinci Code) .
I should have known by now that no movie made after a book is the same as the written pages but I must admit my indignation was quite huge, as I expected more from BBC. BBC never let me down when it came to bringing stories alive, yet in this case I felt betrayed... The way they have portrayed Emma Darwin is dark and evil... they made her into a religious fanatic! And even though Emma loved religion and you can see in the book her pain knowing that she will be parted from Charles in the afterlife, as he was a naturalist and believed in the development of the species rather than the fact that God made us into who we are, Randal never once states that he has found in any letter/note/diary any information about Emma being blindfolded by religion (as she is portrayed in the movie).
In the movie we see Annie being punished at school for speaking up her mind and talking about dinosaurs. She is made to stay on her knees in rock salt until she admits she was wrong, thus developing massive skin injuries. Darwin gets upset and wishes to go scold the priest who ran the classes yet Emma stops him... what kind of mother would stop her husband from defending their child? The way she is portrayed makes one think that Religion is to blame for all and I believe that is NOT what Charles Darwin believed. I also do NOT believe that Emma would conciously agree with her children being hurt - even in the name of faith. I do NOT believe that Emma was this simple minded so she would believe hurting a child would make the young one believe less in the natural order of things...
On the other hand, I quite like the extensive portrait of Annie. In the end, it is her story that Randal tells us, through Charles eyes... Annie was the eldest daughter of Charles and Emma Darwin, and I dare say the most loved and cherished. Even Darwin wrote in her eulogy that not once he has spoken a bad word to her nor has he made him feel the need to scold her. She always had a smile upon her face and she always knew how to make others feel better. She enjoyed helping Charles and she would always join him in his daily walks.
I also enjoyed the way the motion picture is filmed - the quality of the frames and their succession, the way in which we are welcomed into Charles mind and see the world through his eyes... it is just Oscar worthy to have a look at the naturalist scenes filmed for the movie - somehow they make me think of a very advanced Animal Planet channel programme. Also the portrayal of the relationship he had with the very first Orangutan brought to the United Kingdom, for the London zoo, is pleasant to watch. The way they communicate and bond is very touching and appropriate as to the content of the book and Charles Darwin's notes.
Overall it is a pleasant movie to watch, and I recommend to watch it AFTER reading the book. Of course you may be upset on some scenes and you would think you would have done it otherwise, but other scenes will reward you and get you back on the watching track. The movie's pace is quite slow and sometimes agonising, as we feel Charles pain, so if you wish to watch it on a fun date I would definitely NOT recommend it. I watched it alone, in silence, paying attention to the way the director - through Randal Keynes eyes - wanted us to see Charles Darwin. I am glad I have seen it, as now I can match it to the book, but I am unsure as to if I would like to see it again. The IMDB score is 6.8 out of 10 and I feel it should be higher - I think it is this low only for the subject it touches and I know it was not received well due to the fact that it speaks of Creationism... Have you seen Creation? What did you think of it? How would YOU grade it?
The Twisted Red LadyBug that still loves BBC :)