Children of Men

In the year 2017 the world has fallen into a sorry state, as the end of it all is in sight. Eighteen years previous, the last baby was born, and since then all women in the earth’s population have fallen infertile. The world’s super powers are crumbling into chaos, but Britain powers on. In an effort to keep the country pure, Britain has closed their borders to all outsiders, and have begun to deport all foreigners from the country. Their treatment of these foreigners however, is deplorable.

Former activist Theodore Feron (Clive Owen) lives in a constant disgruntled state of depression, since the loss of his child in the early onset of the disease. After visiting his pot growing friend Jasper (Michael Caine), he is kidnapped by an active terrorist cell lead by his ex wife Julian (Julianne Moore and asked for help. They need him to help transport a young girl to the coast, to be handed over to the Human Project, a group of scientists holed up offshore trying to save humanity from extinction. For they have in their possession a girl named Kee (Claire-Hope Ashitey), who is pregnant, and quite possibly the future of mankind.

This being director Alfonso Cuaron’s first major production post Harry Potter, many waited anxiously to see just what he would come up with next. In Children of Men, his mastery over cinematography shown previously in Prisoner of Azkaban is heaped upon us in spades. With many breathtaking shots and a vision of a grimy future, the production side shows us a man in love with film, and an eye for greatness. With the camera work focusing solely on our lead man Clive Owen throughout the film, we are given a birds eye view of the entire journey, from start to finish. This being a bit of a futuristic sci fi flick, the effects and future touches of the scenery were masterfully blended as well. Cuaron’s vision of the future focuses highly on humanity’s infatuation with TV today, as we seen in the future television has been blended in with nearly ever facet of life. From giant television billboards, desktop televisions in the workplace, and televisions on every mode of public transportation, we are given a glimpse of society oblivious to life around them, unless the television tells them it is there. This is not a major plot proponent to the film, but it is there and prominent to help shape the vision of the future.

What also stands out with Curaon’s vision of the future is the way all of the future touches are blended seamlessly into real life. Were we normally rely on sci fi films to give us a garish and chrome vision of the future, Curaon’s vision is blended into life as we know it. Things have not changed dramatically, however they have evolved. This gives a heavy sense of reality to Children of Men, that helps the viewer sink even further into the ‘wow, this could really happen…’ frame of mind.

Listed as an adventure/sci fi/ thriller, the trailers for Children of Men may give the view an expectation for thrills chills and heavy action. That’s not exactly what you’re in store for though. As the film unwinds we are plunged deep into a depressing future, as we watch foreigners caged like animals and often beaten. With footage heavily akin to German concentration camps of old, this version of our future is indeed a bleak place to be. As Theo is pulled into the mire of underground terrorism once again, we are are shown that this time around, the terrorists are right in their base directives and the government has turned corrupt, however even the most grand and altruistic of ideals can be corrupted by visions of greed and power.

Children of Men moves slowly for a movie labeled as action/thriller, but this does not take away from the enjoyment of this flick. In fact, in enhances it quite a bit. As you are lulled into the unfolding story line, events will jump out at you and grab your attention, holding you transfixed until the scene passes, and settles you back into a solid story line once again. As we progress through the film, tension rises ever so gradually, until the final sequence of the film.

The acting is superb throughout the entirety of Children of Men. Clive Owen gives us an expert performance in his role as Theo. Disheveled, sad and determined, we find ourselves filled with hope for this bleak world that only he can provide. Michael Cain as a former political cartoonist cum pot farmer is excellent as well, providing a few laughs (Pull my finger!) some deep insight, as well as a steady foundation when the shit hits the fan. Not a single performance to complain about, this is yet another facet of Curaon’s directing skill.

Children of Men is a beautiful bleak vision of the future, filled with a compelling and thought provoking story line that will captivate and leave you glued to the screen for the full two hours. With beautiful camera work and excellent acting by all, this movie is an experience in itself, and is a healthy change from the normally gaudy future of sci fi fare. Watch it. Enjoy it. You’re gonna like it, I promise.

4.5 Michael Cain’s smoking weed out of 5

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