The vote is in: I was mesmorized by John Amiel’s Creation. I mean sure, I may be guilty of liking the movie because I wanted to like it. And certainly, the dragged-to-the-movie-by-his-woman dude in front of us who fell asleep and started snoring (followed quickly by being elbowed in the gut by the aforementioned lady-friend), may disagree with my assessment of the movie. But, the music was haunting, the set and camera work was beautiful, and as predicted in my earlier post, I cried.
Below are a list of my personal take-homes:
Note: These are my thoughts from the movie. I haven’t read Darwin, His Daughter and Human Evolution or Emma Darwin’s diaries, so I’m not going to attempt to draw a line between the movie and actual events.
1) “What’s popular isn’t always right, and what’s right isn’t always popular”. This is a well-known aphorism, but Creation did an excellent job of showing us what it might be like to actually be put in this position. However, in the movie Darwin appears to be swayed more by his wife’s reluctance for him to publish Origin, than by any external, peer criticism. It would have been interesting to have seen the academic push-back that was alluded to by the Joseph Hooker character (paraphrase: “you have many enemies, but you also have friends, Charles”)
2) Losing a family member sucks, and it’s really too bad that Darwin didn’t have access to modern psychotherapy.
3) Hydrotherapy was a crock back then, too.
3) If you can convince a theist to read a good book on evolution, they can’t help but “see the light”. Oh sure, maybe Emma didn’t burn the manuscript because it was the culmination of twenty years of her lover’s work and life…but I prefer to believe she was swayed by the evidence Darwin presented.
4) It’s a wonder On the Origin of Species made it to the publisher. Seriously, the scariest moment of that whole movie for me was when Darwin tossed the papers – wrapped in brown packaging paper - on the back of the open-air horse-drawn mail carrier. Did he back up his work? I didn’t see any photocopies of Origin laying around! What if it had rained? Agh!
I knew going into the movie that it was going to mostly be focused on Charles Darwin’s relationship with his wife, Emma and daughter, Annie. But as I hinted above, I would have liked to have seen more of the public drama surrounding the publication of the book. So, whenever John Amiel gets around to making the sequel, I’m sooo there.
All in all, Creation was a very good movie, and I’d see it again. But next time I’ll remember to bring Kleenex.