Home TV Shows Reviews ‘Creature’ (2023) Netflix Series Review - Mankind is Not Very Kind

‘Creature’ (2023) Netflix Series Review - Mankind is Not Very Kind

When a reckless scientist dies in Ottoman-era Istanbul, his student adopts unproven methods to complete his work with disastrous results.

Vikas Yadav - Sat, 21 Oct 2023 00:24:35 +0100 1296 Views
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Çagan Irmak's Creature, inspired by Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, is about a young, defiant doctor/scientist, Ziya (Taner Ölmez), who is fed up with rules and regulations and wants to explore obscure places. No, he doesn't want to pack his bags and visit hidden corners of the planet. He wants to test new scientific theories to create miraculous inventions. Early in the series, Ziya's father, Muzaffer (Engin Benli), forbids his son from doing something unconventional for the sake of producing a vaccine for the infected people of a town. On his first day at a medical college, he ruffles a professor's feathers and gets thrown out of the institution. Ziya is not interested in mugging up books. The college can merely tell him what he already knows. Life is short, and Ziya wants to leave a dent before meeting death.

Opportunity comes knocking on his door in the form of Ihsan (Erkan Kolçak Köstendil). This man used to be as rebellious as Ziya but now walks around like a madman. One thing leads to another, and soon, Ziya and Ihsan find themselves working together to fix a machine that can resurrect the dead. Anyone familiar with the story of Frankenstein will instantly guess that the machine will work and a corpse will return to life. Shelley's book is considered influential because it plays with our fears regarding scientists and the disasters they can cause with their scientific inventions. In Irmak's tale, science and religion go hand in hand. Characters talk about machines as well as faith. Hence, the most interesting interpretation of Creature is that it lays down the following question for the audience: What if God made humans and then was disturbed - almost disgusted - by his creation? This is why he left humans alone, and since he is not keeping tabs on us, he does not do anything about our struggles.

When Ziya and Ihsan run the machine for the first time, an explosion occurs and kills the latter. Ziya then puts Ihsan on the device and brings him back to life. But when he sees Ihsan behaving like an infant (he moans and shits his pants), he gets repulsed and, with the help of a friend, abandons him in the middle of nowhere. Ziya is incredibly arrogant, and Ölmez's performance ensures we always watch him with hatred. His cartoonish madness or the way he puts a finger on his head is all extremely annoying to witness. Whenever Ölmez appeared on the screen, I wanted to lower my gaze. Perhaps this is what Irmak intended, as he wants to show us that mankind is horrible. It's the so-called monsters who deserve love and appreciation, which is why Ihsan wears an innocent face after getting resurrected.

This unsubtle quality is not just limited to acting. It extends to the show's themes, tone, and messages. Creature grabs our collars and screams, "I am now feeling sad/happy!" or "This is the meaning behind this scene!" Everything is overblown, overexposed, and overstated. In case you still somehow fail to grasp the show's intentions, you are given important points through dialogues near the end (Ihsan informs Ziya what he learned about human nature through his unfortunate experiences). Ihsan's thread, once he turns into a "monster," becomes excruciatingly apparent. When he meets the circus people and that old woman with a pregnant girl, we immediately predict how these events will end. That's because the show looks at these characters with so much sweetness and kindness that it becomes crystal clear that heartache is just around the corner. Creature says that humans are harsh on someone who is different from them, and it does so unimaginatively by using plain tricks (children teasing a mentally challenged man) and emotional manipulations.

At Frankenstein's core, there is a warning for human beings that they should not act like gods. This core is present in Creature. Ihsan - after starting the machine - looks at the sky and screams, "Rain your anger on us." He challenges god, and the almighty showers his wrath on the two scientists, first in the form of an explosion and then through other unfortunate events. When Ziya explains everything to Asiye (Sifanur Gül) and hugs her in the kitchen, a plate falls on the floor and breaks into pieces. This image visually indicates that Ziya and Asiye's relationship will be shattered. Asiye asserts that she is not just a pretty child-bearer, but the show sees her and other characters (say, a college friend) as bland figures. They simply help the character move from one point to another. Even the framing device is a bit awkward. Ziya narrates the story to a group of treasure hunters, and these people double up as "audience characters." Their reaction is meant to be similar to our response. So when a man weeps after hearing Ziya's story, Creature expects us to also cry in the same manner. But our reaction is totally different. We are not moved by the story, so we don't shed any tears. As a result, those treasure hunters act like a dose of self-congratulation.

Final Score- [5/10]
Reviewed by - Vikas Yadav
Follow @vikasonorous on Twitter
Publisher at Midgard Times



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