Sunday, January 07, 2007

MOVIE REVIEW: Children of Men

It's a pretty bleak future, that's for sure. The year is 2027 and apparently the women can't get pregnant anymore, so naturally the civilization begins to break down. Terrorism is an everyday thing and the world seems very dark and cold. The movie is grim but it is impressively filmed and directed. Director Alphonso Cuaron does an incredible job of showing us this apocalyptic tale while still preserving a little humor, albeit very sarcastic and dark humor.

The film revolves around a darkly funny guy, Theo (Clive Owen) who gets caught up in the revolution between his ex-wife (Julianne Moore), her radical terrorist organization called "Fishies" and the federal government. As I said above women are infertile and the world has gone to hell. The Fishies have found a young woman who is miraculously pregnant. The terrorist organization forces our sarcastic hero Theo to help get the young woman to the coast where they will be rescued by the Human Project. I will tell you right now that in no way do they explain how it was possible for this woman to get pregnant when all others are infertile. They also never fully explain what this Human Project is and what exactly they can do to help the young mother to be. That aside, the film promotes a sort of What If scenario regarding the absence of children. It is a fascinating thing to watch. As a society we are programmed, whether we consciously want to or not, to procreate. It is in our nature. If we were all of a sudden incapable of this I would imagine it would make most, if not all people, very upset, hence the premise of this movie. It is an interesting social commentary that gives us a glimpse of humanity's darkest qualities, and I think even though some things are not fully explained you must remember that it is the people and the journey that is most important to the core of this film.

Michael Caine (Jasper) turns in a nice performance as Theo's drug addled hippie friend. Although he does get a little annoying calling Theo "Amigo" every five minutes. The terrorist group is predictable but I don't think that Cuaron is trying to make them sympathetic as some critics have alleged. They want to use the pregnant girl as much as the government would if they knew she existed. It's all about power and who is perceived as right. There are some spectacular steady cam shots. There is a shot near the end of the film when the government is bombing a tenement building. I swear the steady cam shot lasted at least twenty minutes maybe more, following Clive Owen through the building to protect the young pregnant woman. As I said before this is not a happy fun movie but it is entertaining and visually stunning. So check this one out and remember don't get too caught up in the plot. It's about a guy trying to get a girl from the danger zone of point A to the safe zone which is point B. So just sit back and relax and hope that this could never happen to our society for real.

Grade: 4 Buckets


Speck said...

1) It's spelled Alfonso....where the hell did you get Aphlonso?

2) The film had NO steadicam. It was all handheld save a special dolly rig in the car scene with Juilanne Moore in the front seat.

The film was amazing. Absolutely amazing. One of the best movies of the year. Cuaron has yet to make a bad movie...and Lubezki has more or less put cinematography into the mainstream with this film.

I was fortunate enough to catch the camera union screening where Lubezski spoke about the movie afterwards.

Captain Mike said...

I think Jeff got "Aphlonso" from the same place you got "Lubezski."

G.I. Jeff said...

Ease off Speck, geez, have you ever heard of a typo. I know how to spell the guys name.

And I am not a cinematographer. I did not personally know what kind of special jury rig they used. I just thought it looked cool.

If you want to make a review of the flick make a damn review.

Hi Mike it's good to hear from you.

Speck said...

yeah yeah Lubezki. At least its spelled right at least once in there.

I dont write reviews. Thats why you consider yourself a writer and I play with my big zoom lense all day.

Quit getting your panty in a bunch over the'd think I was serious.