"Children of Men" (2006)
Genre: Drama, Mystery & Suspense, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By: Alfonso Cuarón
Written By: Alfonso Cuarón, Timothy J. Sexton, David Arata, Mark Fergus, Hawk Ostby
Released: September 22nd, 2006
Runtime: 109 minutes
Studio: Universal Pictures
When infertility threatens mankind with extinction and the last child born has perished, a disillusioned bureaucrat (Clive Owen) becomes the unlikely champion in the fight for the survival of Earth's population; He must face down his own demons and protect the planet's last remaining hope from danger.
This is a really good film. But quite stressful to watch. I think the concept is so intriguing though. I sat in silence thinking about it for a while afterwards.
The production designers must have had a great time – the set design, for what it is, is fantastic. This derelict creation of a dystopian 2027 is a scary world, perhaps a bit far-fetched and seems to be used simply for the sake of it, as opposed to offering reason. How did the world end up like this from where we are now? This is not so much a criticism as it is an observation, but the film, at least for me, seemed to nearly raise more questions than it answered. For example, I don’t understand why the world had become so decrepit and violent by the year 2027. If the human race was indeed becoming extinct…why was there a war going on killing off what humans were left, faster? Surely, they’d want to preserve what life was still around? There seemed to be no sign of technology or any modern paraphernalia. Everyone seemed to be poor and more worse off. It was like stepping backwards. This in itself was all pretty scary and morbid.
Another musing – if women couldn’t have children then did that mean periods were also becoming obsolete?! I tell you that would be a welcome change (albeit bittersweet in the bigger picture). It seems very unfair if women still had to go through that for nothing. Is the lack of this the reason for infertility? If so, why? Or was it because of another reason? If so, what? Unless I missed it, I don’t think any explanation was offered, we were just presented with the situation at hand and pulled through an excitingly stressful two-hour ride. Maybe the fact that it is unknown to the characters as well as the audience emphasises the hopelessness in which they live, and their desperate struggle to find a cure. Personally, I would have liked some kind of reason offered…but this is personal preference.
The colour scheme is incredibly morbid. Greys and blues were the order of the day. As fitting as it was for the whole tone of the film it did nothing to lift a person’s spirits. I think you have to be in a giddy mood watching this film because otherwise it would bring you down completely. I was fairly bummed out after watching it to be honest. Even though I enjoyed it very much and have no criticism towards it. It’s heavy stuff! I’m not a fan of too much violence in a movie. But as I say I just find the whole concept so intriguing.
The thing about this film is it makes you think. A lot. This is both a blessing and a curse. The good of it is, in making you think about it, it shows how engaging it is. There’s no denying it’s a fantastic film with a well thought out plot (even if the reason of the infertility is unknown – but if this is on purpose I’ll give the benefit of the doubt) with impressive production design and performances from such big talents as Michael Caine and Julianne Moore. It is a curse because, frankly, the film is bloody depressing! While I was watching it, I had the most morbidly scary thought. There are so many great films in the world that we won’t have seen before we die. Either we just simply don’t know about them, or they’re not even made yet… And then I couldn’t sleep. So, I do not recommend watching this film before going to bed like I did. You have been warned! But on that note, don’t let this film be one of those films. It is well worth a watch even if it’s only ever the once.