Thoughts On Children Of Men

It's tough being a refugee.

It’s tough being a refugee.

I just watched Children Of Men for the first time in a good long while. Being in a mood for a really bleak vision of the future I picked it because I think it’s wonderfully dark.

In a parallel dystopian future every person on the planet is infertile. Isn’t that a nifty idea? The youngest person in the world dies and everybody is in tears, yet human life is still not revered. All around them chaos ensues, be it government soldiers surrounding up illegal immigrants to deport or terrorists bombing people up to make a point. Neither of the supposed sides in this film are good, and it is basically up to one individual named Theo (Clive Owen) to save the future of the human race.

One of my most favorite things about this film is how bleak and dark everything looks. There are burning cow carcasses burning in the middle of fields, a dog herding a frighten flock of sheep through a war-torn town, and graffiti over every reachable surface. It really doesn’t look like nice place to live and that’s the point. The only person whom we see that has any kind of higher living standard is Theo’s cousin Nigel (Danny Houston) who still has to pop antidepressants despite the fact that he has more money that he could possibly ever spend. Even in this vision of the future money cannot buy you happiness.

Another interesting thing about the story is that Britain is on top of the world again. Gone is the supremacy of America, instead law and order is the rule of the day in the once again mighty Britain. However, there are cracks in that veneer, ones in which the government doesn’t want its citizens to be awake to. They provide all citizens with antidepressants and even suicide pills so that they can cope, or in some cases not cope, with the world they are living in. If things are going so well then why the need for the pharmaceuticals?

There is one famous long tracking shot is this film that should be seen to be believed. It takes you from Theo being shot at outside a building, to inside the building and him looking for a missing person whom he is supposed to be helping to escape. It’s a pretty amazing feat and it brings you more into the scene than a bunch of cuts that could possibly distract you from what is happening around the characters.

Many of the scenes have either important events that move the plot forward so this is the kind of film that you heavily have to pay attention to. Don’t try to play a game online and watch this at the same time, you’ll lose on both accounts! Personally, I like films that make me think and that keep my attention. For instance there is a certain character that all of a sudden gets killed right in front of you and you don’t really expect it. I’m not going to say why you wouldn’t expect it because that would be spoiling things a bit.

As a huge fan of dystopian themed film I can honestly say that this is one of the darkest. It has a theme of hope running through it, one in which humanity could possibly be saved from extinction, but would you really want to live in a world practically destroyed by famine and war?

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