Children of Men

17Apr07

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Children_of_men

I can’t really remember when I last had any hope, and I certainly can’t remember when anyone else did either. Because really, since women stopped being able to have babies, what’s left to hope for?

I’m a cynic. I believe that a 100 years from now, chances that mankind will cease to exist are huge. Think about it, we’re almost there. Wars, racism, famine, water shortage, religious fanaticism, global warming, stockpiling of WMDs etc…Hence, I’ve always loved films and books that depict a dystopian future.

I’m going to try to limit the use of superlatives in this review but somehow, even 12 hours after the film I can’t seem to stop thinking about it and marvelling at the sheer genius of Alfonso Cuaron.

Children of Men (loosely based on the book by P D James) depicts a future where mankind is less than a century away from extinction as women have stopped giving birth for over 2 decades. No lengthy exposition is given to explain the whys or the hows involved. The canvas speaks for itself. The screen is lush with potent visuals; every single frame is of significance. Cuaron has done away with the traditional narrative and has given importance to stunning visual imagery.

Theo (Clive Owen) is an everyman, apathetic to his surroundings and has quitely accepted the fate of humanity. His wife Julian (Julianne Moore) is a rebel who after 20 years asks for his help. Apparently, there is a pregnant woman in hiding, Kee who may hold the…well…key to humanity’s survival. She needs to be transported to the Human Project and Julian trusts only Theo. What could be more profound than a reluctant hero fnding his calling?

The film is funny, grim, poignant and very moving and it doesn’t ask questions; but simply states hard hitting facts. Ultimately, it IS a film about hope and even faith.

But what one notices the most are the visuals. There are a few lengthy single shots which are truly mindblowing. They almost seem technically impossible to achieve. One of the scenes (among many) that really made me cringe was Kee giving birth.

The soundtrack is a masterpiece in itself, my favorite track being the haunting ‘Ruby Tuesday’.

Perhaps the only film in the recent past along with Pan’s Labyrinth  that is truly worth watching. Truly worth thinking about.

10/10

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14 Responses to “Children of Men”

  1. There were a lot of cool things in the movie I agree, but 10/10?? Comon!! =P!

  2. @Guru I dunno man…this was everything I wanted in a post apocalyptic film. Stunning visuals…simply stunning!

  3. 3 cendrelin

    wel….the future is bleak…and my poetry is dark…brave new world is one of my fav books….but instead of havin an ultra controlled world, wher there aint no chaos…naah..i’d rather we go back to the stone ages…i always did want to be a Flintstone…

  4. I dont understand why should we be predicting a dark future.
    I haven’t seen the movie, i admit. Maybe technically it is one of the better ones. But i have a feeling i wouldn’t agree with the content.Mankind has always found ways to survive against odds.

  5. @cendrelin um…riiiight!

    @Arijit Agreed that humanity’s always found a way out but never in our history have we possesd the weapons that we have now and not to mention the hatred and hostility to use them.

    Besides, I also think that with all this pollution and indiffernece to it, out planet will be uninhabitable soon…

  6. Thats the next step we have to take right.. At every point in history we’ve had problems that hadn’t been surmounted till them. We’ll find some way dont worry.. though i suppose neither of us will be around to bask in our predictions.. :D!!else i would have wagered a bet.. ;P!

  7. 7 cendrelin

    we liv in a world full of people thirsting for power and money….half the world leaders are robots programmend to move towards more power and more money…every other mission that they might be programmed to do gets sidetracked…duh! the future is bleak!n dark!

  8. I agree with Arijit. Furthermore, I really think that we cannot predict or even have the authority to talk about “the world” unless and until you have seen the world. You are talking about pollution etc, sitting in India. Just a minute example of fight against pollution is Germany – who are fanatical about ecological conservation.

    The government has taken umpteen number of intitiatives are are doggedly following it to make sure that the environment is maintained the way it is. =)!

    Same goes for New Zealand, some more EU nations… =)!

    Just to refute the pollution and indifference to it aspect of the situation.

    However, I do agree with the “hatred and hostility” aspect of your analysis. However, you have to realize that the world is also changing. Once the “newer generation” comes into power, don’t we have hope for a newer world, or you think we will also grow to have hatred and hostility?

    The scary part for me is the fact that the newer generation is a bunch of “don’t cares” =|!

  9. @Guru

    Dude…Alright, we’re (or the Germans) making an effort to curb Global Warming but it may not be enough considering a big portion of the world’s pollution comes from third world countries. Now…we’ve already seen that there’s a drastic change in weather…and who knows what could follow.

    As for hatred and hostility…yes yes…the youth of today are smart…but who exactly are the youth? There are more under 25 year olds in Rural India than in Urban India where all the surveys are done…and these guys pretty much follow their fathers’ footsteps. A point in this favour is the fact that all these right wing protests of today are done by their respective ‘Youth Wings’ who have taken it upon themselves to uphold morality!

    Coming to the youth in cities…we’re a very passive lot…we’re too apathetic to actually do anything…

    I’m not saying that I don’t believe in the goodness of humanity and such…I’m just saying things don’t look so good what with all that’s happening today!

  10. I absolutely love the Children of Men soundtrack. The movie was also one of the best 2006 had to offer. I’d give it 9/10.

  11. @PS: Children of Men was an amazing movie visually. I agree to that. But it didnt strike me as a movie that deserves a second glance and you giving it a 10/10 is appalling. On a more solemn note, i do think that the world will drift into a state of doom..eventually that is. But the specifics, i do not know

    @Arijith: Humans have always found a way, but what if we find the way a little too late in the day. Thats when ‘doom’ sets in.

  12. 12 soorajrox

    loved the movie….was amazed….and there were two scenes where long, continous shots were taken ….good .

  13. @Smaran Definitely…along with Pan’s Labyrinth, I thought COM was one of the best of 2006!

    @Wildgrey Hmmm…COM was a spectacle and something that made me think a long while after the film. Thn again, to each his own I guess…

    @sooraj 3 Long shots…

  14. Children Of Men and Pan’s Labyrinth was circulating in college at the same time….it was cool for that week.


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