BEWARE: I tried to keep it spoiler-free, but…things might’ve happened.
How much is life worth? Can you measure its value in war-torn buildings, shambles of disintegrating civility, or is it easier to simply count the bodies, piled upon one another in ditches and crevices of human hope? Alfonso Cuaron’s Children of Men depicts a world drowning in its own self-induced devastation. Set in the not-so-distant future of 2027, this movie drops us smack-dab in the middle of social turmoil. Stemming from a virus that claimed the lives of Earth’s children in 2008, the world’s numbers have dwindled, but the more pressing issue in this dystopia is the persisting infertility.
With the fate of humanity unknown, society stratifies itself, separating foreigners from natives, killing one another frivolously with guerrilla war tactics. In the midst of this chaos, a beacon of hope swells in the belly of a young woman, Kee (Clare-Hope Ashitey). In order to protect the mother and her child, Theo Faron (Clive Owen), a withdrawn civil servant battling his own demons, has to aid them in their passage to an organization called The Human Project that will ensure their safety and prosperity as the child grows. Children of Men is a powerful film about striving to live when there’s nothing to live for, and grasping onto beliefs of right and wrong in the thick of madness and destruction.
So, you know the drill.
As a self-proclaimed and certified Newbie, it is my goal to throw myself headfirst into all things sci-fi, specifically peering into some of the most critically acclaimed science fiction based TV shows, movies, and literature! I check them out in pure tabula rasa fashion, with typically nada knowledge about the premise and letting the work speak for itself. Afterwards, I will give you the most honest of honest opinions and retreat to my phantom castle on the other side of the internet.
This week’s Confession is a tiny break from the norm because I’ve actually seen this film, only I saw it a long time ago, and I barely remembered anything. Before starting, I knew that Owen starred in it, and there was a scene where the pregnant girl shows her boobs, but that’s about it (it’s amazing what information my brain deems important enough to store).
My rating: 10s across the board. This film begins and ends with a compelling storyline as well as dynamic characters. It kept me interested, made me think, and scared the crap out of me. However, what made me enjoy this film so much was Clive Owen.
Owen’s character teetered on the edge of losing his life many times, but our hero has a certain gutsy bravado that allows him to take the chances only a crazy person (or, I suppose, the lead) would take.
Theo loses everyone close to him. He essentially has no reason to live. He’s alone and the world has turned to nothing. Death would probably be the easiest choice. There’s even a suicide product advertised all throughout this movie called “Quietus.” However, for some reason, Theo won’t do it. He won’t lie down and die without a fight. He keeps his word and protects Kee with everything’s he’s got, and it makes you wonder why. Why go through all of the trouble? I think it’s because he knew that he was a pawn in the grand scheme of things. Although in the beginning Theo gave the impression of being cold, selfish, and disheartened, he took responsibility for this girl and knew that she needed him, proving he had a heart and that he cared about what happened to the world that took everything from him. He recognized an importance for things and people outside of himself and gained his compassion back.
It’s a dark film with a beautiful story. I’ve just added the novel by P.D. James of the same title onto my book list.
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