Saturday, November 24, 2007

Children of Men

I'd wanted to see "Children of Men" for sometime now. Last night I got the chance. Wow! What an amazing movie. Set twenty years in the future at a time when there have been no babies born into the world for 18 years. It's a bleak, repressive, dreary and totally believable future.

Clive Owen plays Theo a normal man suddenly thrust into a role that possibly entrusts him with the future of humankind. Although Owen gets top billing [along with co-stars Julianne Moore and Michael Caine], it truly is director [and co-screenwriter] Alfonso Cuaron who is the star of this movie. His vision is so truly realized that we feel as if we are in the center of this nightmare world. His use of handheld cameras, long continuous shots, and harrowing set-ups leaves viewers on the edge of their seats and breathless.

The Good: Cuaron's direction; sudden twists; Michael Caine's character; Owen's first escape with the woman; how/why Owen avoids execution in the city; Owen's resolve to get to the woman despite the war raging around him; the Gypsy woman; the refugees' and soldiers' reaction to Owen leading the woman out of the building; ALL of the background details [kept in the background] that make the future despair seem so real; the fact that Owen isn't a super hero and never picks up a gun -- he's a normal man who rises to the occasion.

The Bad: a world without children... the scene with the empty elementary schools and playground... that such a world of despair could be so believable

The Ugly: People wounded/dying from the battles.

Children of Men is an amazing film.

4 comments:

Rafael Kayanan said...

Craig,

CHILDREN of MEN became an instant classic on my list even as it was unfolding before me in the theater. I don't recall many films that have had that effect on me. I almost didn't check the film out because the trailer didn't fully capture the atmosphere and depth of Cuaron's film, instead it made it appear like a formulaic sci-fi film. Some amazing sequences and great attention to detail working on many layers. Glad you got a chance to check it out!

Christopher Mills said...

I praised this film in my blog when I watched the DVD a while back. A truly stunning piece of filmmaking.

Chad said...

A lot of the ads for the movie hyped it as "This generation's Blade Runner." But as awesome as Blade Runner was, to me, this was a totally different type of movie. When I was watching Blade Runner, I knew I was watching a sci fi movie. Children of men actually made me believe what I was watching. And Michael Caine as great as usual.

Craig Zablo said...

Raf - I totally agree and that's why I wanted to make it clear in my post that Owen is not the typical sci/fi star that will save the world... and that the world portrayed is fully realized!

Chris - Your review is another reason I wanted to see it!

Chad - Yeah, it seems like the world they created is a few steps away from the world we in which we live.