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Movie Review: Children of Men

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Children of Men is directed by Alfonso Cuarón, who also directed the Gwyneth Paltrow film Great Expectations and the third Harry Potter film, The Prisoner of Azkaban, both of which I enjoyed. He also produced Pan's Labyrinth.

It's the year 2027 and women haven't been able to bear children for about 18 years, anywhere in the world. The world has suffered from widespread war, terrorism, and civil unrest. In England, immigrants are rounded up and taken to prison camps as homeland security becomes a very big deal.

Former activist Theo Faron, played by Clive Owen, is contacted by an old flame (Julianne Moore) to help smuggle a pregnant woman, Kee (Claire-Hope Ashitey), across England to the coast, where a boat will take her across the ocean to a group known as the Human Project. We don't learn much about this group, but they will try to figure out how to make women fertile again. The pregnant woman is an immigrant from Fiji, which makes her a target for the police state cops and military, but almost no one knows about her pregnancy.

A terrorist group have Kee under protection at an isolated farm. Soon, the race to the coast is on, which soon turns into a chase. Michael Caine shows up as a pot-smoking old hippie who provides shelter at his isolated homestead, which is protected from outsiders by a high-tech video surveillance system.

Refreshingly non-Hollywood slick, the film takes a while to get really interesting. Many of the scenes in this war-torn city look not unlike what we're used to seeing in the news from Palestine, complete with Muslims marching in funerals chanting "God is great" while toting machine guns. Some of the fire fights are well done with Theo dodging bullets as buildings fall down around him. Unlike what you saw in, say, the last James Bond film, there is far less of a choreographed feel to it all. It looks authentic.

I felt that the film was thought provoking but still could have been more interesting if it explained a few more details, like explaining more about the this mysterious Human Project. On the other hand, you could also relate to the pregnant woman more, with all the confusion and lack of information. You didn't get to know the "big picture" and neither did she or Theo.

The theatre was packed, but I don't think this will be a major hit since it is so bleak and deliberately vague. It's definitely not for everyone. The story is based on the novel of the same name by P.D. James. For a book/film that slightly parallels this one, check out The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood.

My rating for this film is .

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About Triniman

Almost weekly, Triniman catches new movies, and adds one or two CDs to his collection. Due to time constraints, he blogs about only 5% of the CDs, books and DVDs that he purchases. Holed up in the geographic centre of North America, the cultural mecca of Canada, and the sunniest city north of the 49th, Winnipeg, Triniman blogs a bit when he's not swatting mosquitoes, shoveling snow or golfing.
  • I have been waiting for this to come to my town. I can’t wait! Great review.
    Donna A.

  • It’s also getting higher ratings that what I have given it, so it could be a bigger film than I expected.

    The cinematography is excellent at times. There’s one scene in particular in which you see Theo on the street dodging bullets and chunks of buildings as they fall around him and the camera follows him into one of the buildings in one continuous shot without changing cameras. It’s touches that like that also make this a bit better than your run of the mill film.

  • Good review, Triniman. I personally did not think this was a very good film (too much was left unexplained), but to each their own.