Jul 2, 2008

Just Seen: Children Of Men


Wow.
I have just finished, and I'm sort of speechless... Not often do you get to see a 10/10 movie.
Where do I even begin on this one??
Ok, deep breath... Now start with the synopsis...
It's 2027, and human race faces extinction, as people are no longer able to procreate. The world's youngest citizen has just been killed at the age of 18. The world is in chaos, and Britain, where the film is set, is a true Orwellian society, torn apart by conflicts and terrorism. The totalitarian regime mercilessly persecutes illegal immigrants. In all this mayhem, Theo (Clive Owen) decides to help his ex-wife (Julianne Moore) - who is now a leader of the resistance - to get a young African refugee named Kee to reach the almost mythical Human Project organization. Why? She is the first pregnant woman in 18 years.
Now, what can I tell you about this film? Let's start out with the fact that Alfonso Cuaron is a genius, and we should all kiss his feet... I must say I used to be skeptical about Cuaron, and I could never quite see what all the fuss was about when it came to him. But this? This is truly a work of art... The story is, of course, great, but what really won me over was the attention to detail. Nothing in Children Of Men was left to chance. The cast is superb, and I was especially taken with Owen, whom I'd previously only seen in Closer, where i found him - well, frankly - quite obnoxious... The young lady who played Kee (Clare-Hope Ashitey) was also very convincing, and I think it's a bit lame that they put Julianne Moore's name before her in the credits (don't mean to spoil anything for anyone, but Julianne doesn't play a particularly big role).

The visual identity of the film is magnificent... The cinematography, sets, costumes, everything blends seamlessly to create a true dystopian, and highly disturbing feel of the there and then. Images as brilliant as a stark, grey, futuristic room with the original Guernica on the wall will stay with you long after you've finished watching. So will the combat scene filmed through a blood-splattered camera lens...
The soundtrack, score and sound editing are perhaps the most impressive of all aspects of this masterpiece... Whatever detail I might give you, I'd have to incorporate a part of the plot, but please pay attention to the sound if you watch this. It more then accentuates the plot, it attacks you, then lulls you into a sense of security, only to slap you in the face mere seconds later... It causes unease, and illustrates the pandemonium. Make sure you watch the complete end credits, though. That's something really special...
Speaking of end credits, for a full understanding of the film, and the meaning of the words at the end of the credits (also repeated a few times in the film itself), it would be perfect if you read T.S.Eliot's Wasteland. I know it might seem too much of an effort, but trust me, even if you don't care about the richer understanding of this film that it will provide you with, it's still one of the greatest poems ever written.
Now, if you've never seen Children Of Men, see it this instant. And if you have? See it anyway.

Shantih shantih shantih

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4 comments:

Maria said...

Thanks for the movie suggestion. I am always looking for good movies to see and this one sounds like a winner especially if it's recommended by my friend Natasha! I like Julianne Moore as an actress and even though she doesn't play a big role, it's a plus that she is in it! Great job recapping the movie, and I will let you know when I get to see it. Have a great day/night ! :)

Anonymous said...

I can live without Julianne...but Clive...ooooooh.

Natasha said...

Glad to be of service :)

timethief said...

Thanks for undertaking this very thorough review. I will be keeping it in mind.