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  • Children of Men
    • Children of Men
    • Runtime:109 min
    • Release Date:2014-11-29 06:42:00
    • Director: Alfonso Cuarón
    • Genres: Adventure, Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller
    • Studio:
MOVIE REVIEW:Children of Men
Auhtor:

   

I love the language of violence and the timing in this movie. A huge
theatrical play with post-reality-genetics-science-fiction and a
expectable future in "Avalon" Britain. The end of the world is an
almost near present, the 60s values are lost, the hope on the 90s
technology is gone, the world is a huge 00s terrorist war field.
Imigration became a plague and the air is caring "condom" virus.
Everything is collapsing but someone is making a documentary on this
events… The last baby is borning. The longest continuous scene of the
modern days (15 minutes) reborn cinema too. Inside a dark futuristic
political message there's a light for what we are going to see in
cinema. More and more reality.

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This is a powerful film. It is not a film to be watched lightly; in
fact, you can consider it as disturbing as George Orwell's 1984 or
Aldous Huxley's Brave New World. The commonality between the three
works? All portray a futuristic dystopian society that though may
initially seem unrealistic, eventually causes you to think twice: "Hey,
this isn't all that far-fetched. In fact, this is really scary." Where
to begin? Children of Men, directed by Alfonso Cuarón (also known for
directing Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and Y tu mamá
también), is set in 2027's London. The premise: global human
infertility. A baby has not been born in 18 years, implying the
upcoming extinction of the human race. And what do people usually do in
times of distress or trouble? Create even more problems for themselves,
thus leading to collapses and breakdowns, destruction and terrorism. In
addition, UK is the only nation still maintaining an actual functioning
government, attracting people from around the world. And conveniently,
UK's slogan is this: "Illegal immigration is a crime." And the list
goes on.

In the midst of this rather bleak environment (bombs exploding, people
dying), there is a disillusioned man by the name of Theo, played by
Clive Owen, who is tasked to help protect and safely escort an African
refugee named Kee out of the UK before she is arrested as an illegal
immigrant. Just what is so important about Kee? Well, nothing much,
except for the fact that she's pregnant and possibly holding the key to
salvation of the entire homo sapien race.

This is an amazing film on so many levels. I'll briefly touch on the
points. First, the acting. Clive Owen gives a superb performance as
Theo, who attempts to act tough and apathetic, but who really has a
caring heart and a strong sense of responsibility, duty. And of course,
Michael Caine never fails to impress; in this, he provides the
much-needed humour by acting as Theo's rather eccentric friend, Jasper.
His hobby? Smoking weed, naturally. The rest of the cast is just as
solid.

Second, the cinematography is to be highly commended. The camera work
is quite possibly one of the best I've seen in any film. It contains
several single-shot sequences that are just mind-blowing. You can
easily get sucked into the scene, as if you were really there on the
grounds, especially during the intense battle scenes. The advantage of
such continuous and fluid shots is the ability to engross the audience
completely, never giving them time to take a breather.

Third, the soundtrack works ever so efficiently. It was unique enough
for me to notice but not so overpowering as to distract you from the
film itself. It creates an original and innovative feel by combining
multiple genres of music, drawing the right emotion out at the right
time.

But ultimately, Children of Men makes you think, and it makes you think
hard. In the beginning, I was hesitant. Mass infertility? It all
sounded a bit implausible. Yet, the genius of it is how it handles
effectively other matters to provide the necessary realism to construct
the futuristic and broken London. It is not a film that thrives on the
plot of Theo protecting Kee and her baby, but rather on the intensive
reflections on life itself.

This is essentially a study and analysis of human behaviour, of human
emotions and of the effect of disheartened desperation. It leads to the
cruelty that unfortunately resides in many of us. It leads to the
apathy, the despondent feeling of giving up because life is just not
working out. It leads to the death of faith. Jasper points out (in
reference to Theo's deceased son): "And then, by chance, he was gone.
You see, Theo's faith lost out to chance. So, why bother if life's
going to make its own choices?" But the beauty of this film is the
faint hope that weaves itself in and out. Let me tell you, it is a
roller coaster ride. Things happen so shockingly fast, all you can do
is just sit and stare in disbelief. It's tough to watch at times. But
this is also a film of self-awareness, of maturity, of growth. Theo
goes through that transformation and journey, of discovering the need
to grasp tightly to that hope, despite the widespread misery (and he
certainly goes through some unimaginable hardships). It's what keeps
him going, it's what keeps the audience watching.

It's interesting then, when comparisons to Christianity are made. And
these are not worthless comparisons. There are many things to be learnt
from this film, and even more to meditate on. Issues of politics,
racism and human relations are introduced, and of course that faith,
that possibility. If only we can implement this hope in our very lives!

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*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The idea of human infertility in a global scale would have the
potential to generate a great movie. Unfortunately this movie wastes
this idea completely. It just boringly depicts a scenario that is at
least very implausible.

No attempt is made to explain (or to encourage the audience to come up
with its own explanations) why infertility would have brought the world
to that dystopian state. It is much more probable that the world would
get economically better in the first 18 years without children, since
the costs of raising children would gradually disappear. It would only
slowly start to get economically worse after the first 18 years.

With a diminishing population, resources per capita would increase
across the world, and hence the amount of illegal immigrants who
immigrate searching for better conditions for themselves and especially
for their children, would decrease, instead of increasing as shown in
this movie. The only explanation why the movie shows an increase in
immigration seems to be the British xenophobia. Even under a condition
(i.e. global infertility) that would actually decrease the number of
illegal immigrants in their country, they manage to imagine that their
country would be even more "attacked" by illegal immigrants. And as the
movie shows, apparently they believe that such an increased inflow of
immigrants would then justify locking all these immigrants in
concentration camps…

It is improbable that, in a world where humanity faces extinction,
people would start killing each other, instead of focusing on
discovering what caused the infertility and solving it. The whole movie
is just about escaping from these meaningless and random killings.

It is simply very boring. I cannot believe it got so many awards and a
high rating in IMDb. And it is really a pity that this movie wasted its
original idea of global infertility. Now, even if other movies do a
better job with this idea, it will just not be that original anymore.

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