Thursday, March 1, 2007

Children of Men (2006)

* * * *

Alfonso Cuaron's last American release before Children of Men was Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Children of Men's storyline of a desolate not-so-distant future where women have been sterile since 2009 is a bit more powerful than Harry's adventures at Hogwarts. This is the most realistic "bleak future" film I can remember with some jaw-dropping cinematography. Clive Owen stars as Theo, a government employee who, by some chance events, must help to protect the first pregnant woman on planet earth in almost 20 years. Owen is suprisingly solid and has established himself as one of "just-below-top-tier" leading men in Hollywood. Michael Caine, mostly known by this generation as Austin Powers' father, plays the hilarious and heartbreaking Jasper, a close friend to Owen's character. The film carries many British overtones as most of the cast is British, and in the film Britain is one of the last remaning safe havens with refugees from around the world flocking into the country. There are many religious and political allegories weaved into the plot, and at times they are difficult, yet a challenge to decipher. The images of terrorism, facism, and immigration are clearly aimed at the unfortunate situations society faces today. As mentioned earlier, the cinematography is breathtaking as Children of Men has some of the most realistic war scenes and terrorist/refugee attacks I've seen. A car attack scene and another in which the camera follows Owen for nearly five minutes without a cut are two notable examples. The film will no doubt have you enticed throughout, and may raise more questions than answers. This is likely a good thing though, as it will have you talking and may be one of those movies you need to watch a second or third time. Although its not perfect, hopefully Children of Men will spark more films of its kind.

Good For: people who like futuristic movies, political theorists, literature majors, people into symbolism

Bad For: unrelenting United States flag-waving patriots

The Gallery
The Economist: * * * *
The Film Maker: * * * * *

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