Children of Men

A monitor in a coffee shop displays the BBC News headline 'Baby Diego Murdered', with a picture of the 18 year-old Deigo and the years of his life 2009–2027.

The film opens with the death of the world’s youngest child, a boy saddled with celebrity and the focused emotions of millions, if not billions. His death is the result of an enraged autograph seeker. The opening of the film is a slap in the face to the fame-obsessed, drawing clear parallels to the death of Princess Diana, a victim of celebrity obsession. This film makes it very clear from the opening moments that this world is a bleak one.

Alisa and I saw Children of Men last night. I’d heard someone describe it as the Blade Runner of our generation. When I heard it, I was skeptical of this statement, but now I understand.

What makes Children of Men so powerful is not just Alfonso Cuarón‘s excellent directing, but the entire production. Every element is perfectly honed towards creating a bizarre but entirely believeable scenario. A world that’s only a half-step from our own, but full of the same seeds. The world is rich and full of characters who act with a strangeness that communicates verisimilitude. Extreme circumstances push the people populating this fictional Britain away from homogeny and into their states of coping: denial, survival, brutality, commitment, extremism, and blends of all these traits. Little explanation is given for anything beyond the main thrust of the story, and the world of the film thrives on this frigthening confusion. It feels a lot like the chaos of real life.

Go see Children of Men. It will not let you off easily for one moment, but that weight you leave with is the understanding that the choice to change is your own.

MPAA Review: Strong violence, language, some drug use and brief nudity.
Ad Exec Review: “No children. No future. No hope.”, “The future’s a thing of the past”, “The last one to die please turn out the light”, “The last days of human race”, “No child has been born for 18 years”, “He must protect our only hope”