Dir: Jon Amiel (The Core)
Seen: January 26, 2010
Reason to see: Opener for TIFF'09, plus always interested in seeing both Paul Bettany & Jennifer Connelly's work
My impression going into Creation was that it was a biopic on Charles Darwin (played by Paul Bettany) and that it would be looking at the turmoil and barriers in the process or decision to write his famous book Origin of Species. That was my impression from that trailer, which really leads you to believe there is a fair amount of conflict around him, specifically with his wife (played by Jennifer Connelly) and in terms of the ramifications the work could have on religious beliefs. Although that does play a part in the film, and is a very interesting concept to explore, it is not the film primary focus.
The film is really centred on the inner dialogue of Darwin himself, and although you can see that everything in his life seem to centre back to the book, it felt like a rather ambiguous connection. In a way, that is refreshing and certainly point to the argument that everything we do is interconnected which I enjoyed. But I kept feeling like I was missing something, but then would also feel like I could get a hint of something that would happen later too which gave it a bit of an uneven feel. It's strange watching a biopic when you really have only sparse knowledge of the person, but in some cases this means it can play out beautifully in a dramatic way but I didn't quite get that sense here. I did enjoy how it approached the scientific side of things, to see that in an almost frontier type way for things that are now generally accepted. But, at the same time people have many different beliefs and the film being set at the time where this would be extremely controversial I was surprized at how little tension was used in that aspect. We get tension and conflict in other areas but not so much on the ideas themselves.
With expectations being so far off on first viewing, I would like to give the film another chance as it's really a story of self actualization and perseverance, which I tend to like. It did open my perception of who Darwin was, and what his life must have been like so I did take that away from it, I just wish there had been more of the bigger picture.
Shannon's Overall View:
I wanted to enjoyed it more
I'd watch it again
I'd recommend it to fans of historical films that are from a personal perspective
Film stared 24 minutes after noted show time, with 8 minute late start than preshow including 4 commercials and 5 previews: Saint John of Las Vegas, Micmacs, Cooking with Stella, Nowhere Boy and Greenberg
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© Shannon Ridler, 2010