Anthony's Film Review
Children of Men (2006)
A movie with a rather creative premise, mixing the bleak with the hopeful...
Children of Men, directed by Alfonso Cuarón, poses a rather interesting question. What would happen if the entire human race, for whatever reason, can no longer reproduce? What kind of repercussions could result? Most importantly, what would it be like to live in such a world? The movie does a good job setting that stage and getting us curious about seeing how events play out. For anyone interested in science-fiction, particularly dystopian stories, you might like this movie.
I should make this clear, though. That premise is not the prime focus. The movie does not actually explain why humans have become infertile. The only reason that this premise exists is simply to provide a compelling backdrop for the main story. The same is true for the other important detail of the setting: that, in the year 2027, England has a militaristic policy that clamps down heavily on illegal immigrants. But don't worry. This is still a good movie.
Basically, the story centers on Clive Owen as Theo Faron, a British government worker who is disillusioned about the state of the world. One day, he is kidnapped by members of the Fishes, a group of rebel activists that include Julianne Moore as Julian and Chiwetel Ejiofor as Luke. In exchange for a generous cash reward, Theo is asked to secretly provide transit papers to help smuggle a woman out of the country. Later, it becomes clear why: the woman, who is named Kee, is pregnant and is the only hope for the human race. However, she's also of African descent, so it wouldn't be safe for her to remain in England, given its anti-immigration climate.
What ensues is a dangerous journey in which Theo tries to protect Kee as they head for a way out of the country. One person who helps is Michael Caine as a pot-loving man named Jasper, who knows about the secret Human Project involving scientists exploring the infertility issue. For a while, Julian and Luke are with Theo and Kee, but unexpected and unsafe circumstances force Theo to escort Kee with less help. There are many rebels who do not hesitate to act violently towards anyone suspicious. On the way, there are many sights of run-down buildings, including an abandoned school, and immigration stations that function like brutal concentration camps.
In short, I enjoyed Children of Men, mainly for its convincingly bleak setting and, to a certain degree, the performances of Clive Owen as Theo and Clare-Hope Ashitey as Kee. I appreciated how the movie's chaotic setting didn't stop it from providing glimmers of hope in the story. In times of intense difficulty, we all need hope to keep us going. Even a dark story needs something positive, something to make us feel satisfied at the end. Honestly, I did wish that the movie would go more into the background of the worldwide infertility and the origin of the harsh political climate in England. Still, whenever a story poses a what-if question that involves a different kind of world, I always like to see what kinds of things would happen in it. That's certainly true even with this movie.
For more information about Children of Men, visit the Internet Movie Database.