Children Of Men

In A World Without Children's Voices, What Kind Of A Future Do We Really Have?

What kind of world would we live in if children didn't exist? Imagine our world was like an elderly woman, who smoked for a long duration of time. What would be the long term affects of her habit? Well, it's a clinical fact that she'd be suffering from lung cancer; most likely. Now pretend for a moment that the smoking, I just mentioned, is actually a metaphor for things like pollution, global warming, and various diseases that could drastically reduce our population. (i.e. mad cow disease, bird flu, and many others). And let's just take another step further and say, "what if the government wanted to control our population due to over population of the planet?" What steps do you honestly think the governments of our world would take to counter act such incidences? Maybe limit the number of flu shots being given out per year? Or perhaps get people addicted to certain drugs that could speed up the fatality process? Whatever the speculation or theory anyone would want to use as the "smoking" metaphor, the real question is, "What are the long term side effects to these incidences?"

After all, nobody knew what the long term side effects to smoking were for the longest time. And even when humanity discovered it, there were few that dismissed it as nonsense. Just like today with global warming, pollution, and the other things I mentioned. Nobody knows what the long term ramifications are, but it will show over the process of time. Not immediately of course, but it will happen. Therefore, who knows what type of world we'll leave behind for our children to live in. Enter the world of "Children of Men."

Based off the novel by P.D. James. In this post apocalyptic world, in 2027, human kind is no longer able to procreate. Where the youngest person, in the world, is eighteen years and four months old, and then suddenly dies when he refuses to give an autograph for being the youngest. Hard to imagine how the world could get like this, as nobody is exactly sure what the direct cause of all this is. However, the only thing that is certain is the aftermath it has on the world. In a world without children, our society deteriorates and becomes a sad and bleak place for humanity, as buildings, cities, schools, and society itself becomes a violent and bleak place for us all to live in. As one character eloquently said, what kind of world do we live in when there are no laughter from children to brighten our days. After all, they are our future, yet what if there are no more children in our world. Does that mean we have no future as a race?

The story follows an unlikely hero, in Theo Faron (Clive Owen), a former activist who reluctantly agrees to transport a miraculously pregnant woman to a sanctuary at sea, where her child's birth could be the key in preserving the future of humankind. Unfortunately for them, not everyone views her pregnancy as sign of hope like they do. No, most view it as an opportunity. As Theo discovers when the activist group kills Julian (Julianne Moore), Theo's ex-wife and the one responsible for recruiting him into this mess, others see it as a ploy to gain a strategic political advantage over the corrupt government. While others like Syd (Peter Mullan), simply see capturing her as a way to make money by selling her and her baby to the highest bidder. With no one to trust and with the few they can getting killed for helping them, Theo is forced to escort Kee (Clare-Hope Ashitey) and her baby to the sanctuary alone. Risking his life as the fate of humanity depends on it.

"Children of Men" isn't for the faint of heart, but it's definitely one of the most powerfully told stories ever presented in a movie screen. Presenting a story line that is not only original, but it offers a lot of underlining themes about where our society is heading. A very powerful movie to say the least. Unlike most future films, where it depicts humanity evolving in some way, even during harsh times through technology. "Children of Men" offers a different take on the whole situation. It offers the viewer the chance to see a world where what if children were no longer being born. What if society started to turn on itself and deteriorating due to it's corruption over the years? What if humanity had no children to carry on our legacy? And even if we could have children, would anyone want to raise a child in such a cruel and harsh reality? No, "Children of Men" doesn't paint a picture of a future where humanity has evolved in any shape or form. In fact, it's a future film that shows just how utterly we regress due to our own selfish actions. A powerful thought provoking concept, that I have never seen duplicated in another science fiction future based movie.

With such ingenuous use of cinematography as well, as it will make the viewer feel as if they're in the movie alongside the main characters. Feeling what they feel, as it immerses audiences into their world. As the cinematography uses a wide background and long scene approach for each action sequence. This works well as it creates a certain level of authenticity and realism to the movie.

Then we get to Clive Owen, who does an excellent job portraying the unlikely protagonist. In the movie, Clive portrays Theo as an average man who struggles day to day with his life, after his wife Julian leaves him due to the death of their son so many years ago. Since then, he's been miserable as he works at a dead end job, with no possible future in sight. Surrounded by a society that is literally falling apart at the seams. Indeed, Clive manages to bring a sense of grounded realism to his role, as it allows for the audience to deeply relate to his character. As he's not a typical action hero nor a man that has all the answers. Nor is he a man that would be deemed most qualified to handle such a predicament that becomes bestowed upon him. However, with hardly anyone Kee can really trust around her, he might be the only hope humanity has of surviving. Needless to say, Clive plays this part perfectly.

Then we finally get to the director/writer, Alfonso Cuaron, who does a masterful job orchestrating  this whole film together.  As he not only mixes in just the right amount of drama, humor, action, and suspense in every scene, he also manages to keep the story grounded in reality.  Never straying too far into science fiction realm of things, despite it's genre, but rather keeping the movie grounded into a possible future; that might just happen with the continuing arrogance of mankind. 

As I said before, "Children of Men" isn't for the faint of heart.  However, it's definitely one of the most original and powerful stories ever told in cinematic history.  A real must see for any movie fan to watch.  

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Comments 20 comments

Faybe Bay profile image

Faybe Bay 6 years ago from Florida

Aha I see you've finished the review. Well done! I did not get some of the metaphors until you pointed it out. I have always said the world would be a better place if all world leaders had to hug a baby every day. It stands to reason that if there were no babies the world would fall apart.

Thanks for the insights. Now I have to watch it again.


Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 6 years ago Author

Your welcome faybe. i'm glad you liked the review. yeah, your right, the world would better off if all the world leaders had to hug a baby a day. maybe then they'd think twice before starting wars that may never end.


Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 6 years ago from Upstate New York

Terrific review. I liked that book a lot, and the movie, too. It was an unusual book for PD James to write, as she is more well-known for her intricate, psychological Richard Jury murder mystery novels.

It made a terrific story, powerful and very sad, and you've got the feeling behind the story captured well in this review. You're right--it isn't a story for the faint of heart, who wishes to wear blinders pretending all is well with the world.

Kee's baby is the hope for the future...you managed not to spoil the ending for people who haven't seen the movie or read the book, and there IS hope!


Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 6 years ago Author

thanks paradise. I truly do appreciate that. To be honest, I never read the book, but I will say this. If the movie was that great, then I know the book must be a masterpiece since very few films are ever as great as the book. lol. however, that's really saying something as I agree with most critics who claim this was arguably the best film of the last decade.

however, you are right. i think the biggest problem with our society is that we need to wake up and stop dismissing consequences for our own arrogance.


Ann Nonymous profile image

Ann Nonymous 6 years ago from Virginia

You ruled me out when you said it isn't for the faint of heart, Steven! But once again another great hub!


Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 6 years ago Author

Thanks Ann. I'm glad you liked the review. It's a really a great movie though, as it speaks true to how ignorant humanity can allow our future end up like this.


Sage Williams profile image

Sage Williams 6 years ago

I must say I have not heard of this movie, but after reading your review, it has left me wanting to see it. You have written an exceptional review, one that has sparked my interest.

Thanks so much, I look forward to seeing this movie in the near future.

Sage


Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 6 years ago Author

Thanks Sage. I'm glad you liked the review. Yeah, it truly is a powerful and thought provoking movie. And the scariest part about it is that it's a future that actually could happen if mankind doesn't change it's ways too. Anyway, i hope you enjoy the movie when you see it, and thanks again for the comment. :)


Moesky profile image

Moesky 6 years ago from Amsterdam

This is destined to become a cult classic. People who love this film "really" love it. It has a depth to it that transcends the effect of most films - and moments where you think "hey! that's how it goes in real life...", a car that won't start... a misunderstood joke...

But what makes it such an excellent piece of film-making, are precisely those elements that you just can't seem to put into words... it's a "feeling" thing!


Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 6 years ago Author

Yeah, I agree with you there. There are some movies that are so great, that it's hard to put into words to describe it sometimes. Believe me, I know. I sometimes have writer's block reviewing films that I like, but that's always a good thing as it just speaks to how great the movie is.


lorlie6 profile image

lorlie6 6 years ago from Bishop, Ca

You're turning me into a movie fan, Steven! This sounds amazing, and I will be looking for it. Thoughtful and dark? Sounds like my kind of film!

Laurel


Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 6 years ago Author

lol. Thanks laurel. I'm glad you liked the review, and I'm sure you'll love the movie as well once you see it. :)


bonny2010 profile image

bonny2010 6 years ago from outback queensland

terrific review - I saw the movie and you have it down to a tea - love your lead up - thought I was reading my own mind = that thought didn't last long as I recognised an organisation and great flow of brillant thought I just knew could not belong in my head - must go back and rewatch that movie


Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 6 years ago Author

Wow, i guess it's true what they say. great minds do think alike. ;)


Fluffymetal profile image

Fluffymetal 6 years ago from Texas

You did a great job!


Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 6 years ago Author

thanks fluffymetal


Beth100 profile image

Beth100 6 years ago from Canada

Another great review Steven! The film was very well done. Somewhat graphic in some scenes, but the point was well driven home.


Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 6 years ago Author

Thanks Beth. That means a lot to me coming from you. Yeah, I do agree with you there, as I thought the film painted an accurate depiction of where our society could end up if we're not careful.


Dale Mazurek profile image

Dale Mazurek 6 years ago from Canada

Frig this looks like a powerful movie.

I know I will be seeking it out.

Great review my friend.

The hub is now up on my blog.

Dale


Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 6 years ago Author

Wow, thanks dale. I really do appreciate you helping me out like this. Your definitely a great guy, so don't let anyone tell you different. :)

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