FILM REVIEW: Children of Men (2006)

Children of Men

My husband and I recently watched Children of Men and I felt it was proper to give it a review to encourage others to watch this underrated movie. It is futuristic but able to give that vibe that the problems and struggles shown are real and current, and not too far away in time.

 

Summary

Set in a distant dystopian future where women the world over are unable to bear children, Theo found himself helping Kee, a young pregnant girl, the first in the last 18 years, journey to seek refuge in a medical ship. Caught in the middle of political tensions with the issues of immigration, terrorism and crazy bureacracies as a compelling backdrop, will Theo and Kee successfully bring the miracle baby to the Human Project?

 

Main Characters

Theo — He was separated from his wife Julian after the death of their son Dylan which apparently caused the breakdown in their marriage. In his mid-forties, he had an office day job and lived alone. He only had one friend Jasper, a retired political cartoonist, in his 70s. His leisure time included betting on dog races.

Kee — She was well into her third trimester when she met Theo through Julian. She is a black refugee and was in difficult circumstances as the government tightened its immigration laws.

 

Context

The world was in chaos as terrorism plagued the nations resulting to the breakdown of economies and the rise of immigrant population attempting to enter Britain with a relatively functioning government system.

 

Why watch it?

Hubby and I enjoyed this film because we found the plot original and the storytelling was effective. I liked how the themes of faith, chance and hope were pervasive even in seemingly irrelevant scenes. Jasper captured these themes so well when he said:

Jasper: Yeah, there you go! Julian and Theo met among a million protesters in a rally by chance. But they were there because of what they believed in in the first place, their faith. They wanted to change the world. And their faith kept them together. But by chance, Dylan was born.
 .
Jasper: Chance. He was their sweet little dream. He had little hands, little legs, little feet. Little lungs. And in 2008, along came the flu pandemic. And then, by chance, he was gone. You see, Theo’s faith lost out to chance. So, why bother if life’s going to make its own choices?
After the separation, Theo lived a despondent life, void of faith, floats in chance, almost reliant on routine. He was no longer an activist, no longer willing to fight for something. He gambled his money on races, quite a picture of his resignation to chance to govern his life. I applaud the filmmakers for successfully creating this mood by working on the lighting and camera movements complemented by Clive Owen’s performance. The film also tackled real issues that we face today as a society such as terrorism, immigration and propaganda. Infertility and aging population as well as suicide were also presented without the narrative begging for an exposition. It is brilliant in leaving the audience as though they are part of the chaotic world and allow them to form their own conclusions and judgment.
Things to work on
I feel that the film would have been better if the scriptwriting was improved. When the characters deliver their lines, there was a sense of lack of flow, coherence and wit that leaves one wanting. The music was forgettable and although the actors attempted a stellar performance, the film could have taken advantage of a better casting, except of course for Julian Moore who was just outstanding.

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