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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.