Saturday, September 23, 2006
Film Review: Children of Men
Children of Men (15)
Dir. Alfonso Cuarón
Reviewed by Matt Adcock
“I can't really remember when I last had any hope, and I certainly can't remember when anyone else did either. Because really, since women stopped being able to have babies, what's left to hope for?” This is the cheery sentiment of the impressively bleak new slice of British sci-fi directed by Alfonso ‘Harry Potter 3’ Cuarón. Children of Men is a scarily believable near future world in the grip of brutal martial law and serious population decline thanks to the fact that it’s been more than eighteen years since the last baby was born.
Clive Owen stars as Theodore Faron – a grizzled ex-activist whose life is blown apart when he unwittingly becomes the guardian of a young refugee who has become pregnant and so might just hold the future of mankind in the balance…
I took my wife to see this but am beginning to regret it as she’s described the film as ‘a visual assault on the senses that leaves you shaken and bewildered’, not really what you want from a romantic evening out!?
She’s not wrong though; Children of Men is not an easy film to watch – filmed in a raw photojournalistic style, which drags you through the vicious climate of fear, paranoia and heavy-handed government control. Claire-Hope Ashitey is amazing as the potentially world changing mother-to-be and her plight is heartfelt. Sir Michael Caine and Julianne Moore provide serious quality support to the proceedings, although in Caine’s case – as a wacky pothead the word ‘serious’ might be open to interpretation.
The action scenes are pleasingly heavy duty, unflinching and stark but they have an authentic feel that makes you care what happens to the characters. Look, I don’t want to spoil it for you but here’s a hint – I wouldn’t get too attached to any of them if you don’t want your evening ruined.
It’s great to see a Brit(ish) film boldly charting territory that is usually the sole domain of Hollywood and coming away with its head held high. If you sign up for this dark journey, do keep your eyes peeled for some great incidental in jokes though, like a huge unexplained floating pig in the air near Battersea power station - surely a reference to the cover image of the Pink Floyd album "Animals"?
Children of Men is a quality alternative to the crass mainstream offerings so often found clogging up cinemas.
Darkmatters rating system (out of 5):
Action ööö - not action packed but enough to satisfy
Laughs öö – a few - mostly thanks to Caine
Horror ööö – some grimness and lots of suspense
Babes öö – Julianne Moore doesn't really do it for me
Overall ööö1/2 (worthy of your time)
Darkmatters: H O M E
Posted by Matt Adcock at 10:41 pm