I finally went for a movie. No, it wasn’t Avatar or Hurt Locker. (Though I wish I could’ve seen those as well). This was sort of like a cult movie. Depending on how you define ‘cult’. I watched the movie ‘Creation’ – the story of Charles Darwin – his life (After the Beagle voyage to the point where he publishes the book).

I am sure some of you would’ve read the reviews. Some may have kept it aside for later viewing. Some may have not heard about it. And still some – would never ‘dare’ to watch it. But I fancy the possibility that you haven’t watched it yet for some reason and attempt to review it. If you have seen it and digress from what I would have to say, leave it as a comment. :)

The movie isn’t so much about the fact of evolution as much as it is the story about the relation between Charles Darwin (Paul Bettany) and his wife – Emma Darwin (Jennifer Connelly), and the relation between him and his daughter Annie (who passes away due to a mysterious illness, but appears to him as alive) – of course, culminating in the publication of what is probably the most important idea/theory/fact of our time.  I went with 3 friends, but once the movie started, I was more than absorbed by the life of 19th century genius and naturalist. The depiction moved me to tears. I should, now, point out that I went there with a certain mind set split and set by 2 preconceptions – 1.) I was watching a movie that is sort of like ‘Passion of Christ’ for naturalists (I will get to this a little later). And 2.) The reviews were rather average – and I wasn’t very impressed then. (On further thought, it is almost like the story of John Nash. Of course, in a very different way)

Now, from the books about Darwin, I come to understand that the movie is almost entirely accurate in its story. I was particularly moved by the depiction of the dilemma caused because of his wife’s faith and his love for her on one hand and his indisputable findings of the nature of life and Nature itself on the other hand. And his daughter’s “ghost” – rather “vision”, almost, haunting him – coupled with the just mentioned dilemma pushing him to the verge of losing his mind.

I mentioned twice now that this was sort of a cult movie and that it is something like the “passion of christ” for naturalists/rationalists/atheists like me; here’s why: I saw P.o.C when I was in the 3rd of under-grads. I watched the movie with rapt attention. I wasn’t moved to tears watching it. I couldn’t explain why I didn’t feel any sort of emotion to what any christian would consider amongst their most important if not fav movies. I am coming to realize my inner, unconscious reasoning now: I just couldn’t believe it was real. (I wasn’t really an atheist then, mind you). I found it to be a little to grating on my intellect that someone would put themselves through all this to save us of our sins which we would committed eitherway because the same fellow getting tortured had already set it all up to happen, in the first place. Stupid circular logic. This topic is for my next blog entry.

You are perfectly right to ask me why I would compare “Creation” with “Passion of Christ”. The latter (attempts to) reinforces the old myths of creation whereas the former is the story of a man (for one, really existed) who put across a completely natural explanation for the origin of species from the point life was first conceived. (The beginning of life remains a mystery still). We have come nearly 150 years since the publication of this book. All, and I mean *all* of what we have learnt about biology, chemistry, physics, and every related branch of science that advanced past the publication of “Origin of Species”  points and reinforces what Darwin explained from his work that spanned nearly 2 decades – meticulous collection of evidence. So much for the digression from the movie.

Back to the topic at hand: This movie took sometime to be released in the US of A. Any guesses why? I add this insanity and inanity to my ever growing list of religious madness, and an addition to Hitchens’ line: ‘religion poisons everything’.

Anyway, this movie isn’t about destroying or blasphemy of god. This movie is the story of an highly respectable man and his family, ever so clearly, succinctly and intelligently demonstrating the extraordinary simplicity and elegance of the fact of evolution and the natural world.

The movie closes with Darwin’s unusually poetic last paragraph of the ‘Origin of Species’:

“Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows. There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.”

I highly recommend this movie to you. Unless you amongst those who are vehemently against Darwin, you would definitely enjoy the movie.

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