Sunday, July 22, 2007

Film Review - Children of Men

Last night I watched "Children of Men" on DVD, not that the mode of viewing makes any particular difference. I'm not going to go into the detail of the story as I don't want to spoil it for anyone who hasn't seen it. However, the main premise of the film is that all of a sudden, all women, all over the world suddenly became infertile and unable to have babies. In the film its 18 years (or was it 17 - never mind - whats a year between friends?) and society all over the world has caved in on itself and disintegrated. There are gangs of ravaging morons roaming the streets, terrorism an everyday thing for just about everyone, and illegal immigrants are fair game and rounded up by the "authorities" and put into cages for deportation or whatever.
Now - I have a problem with all this. OK, crime, racism, terrorism and the like is of course a big problem in the world and society alike, but what I cannot understand is why on earth a lack of babies should exacerbate the problem to such extremes. The film also seems to miss out on the fact that if everything really was as bad as this then there wouldn't be many people around anyway as there would be no food getting to the supermarkets, no work would be done, no basic necessities of life available, the upshot being that everyone would either die of starvation, lack of medical attention, or just murdered in the street. This is a very dark and disturbing film, but my main criticism is that the scenario is just untenable and has not been properly thought through. However, I am not saying this is entirely a bad film. Films are by their very nature escapist and cinematically I found it quite entertaining (and dark). There is a lot of very clever filming where the camera stays on the subject with continuous action going on for several minutes without any cut to another camera. There is also a quite amazing piece of filming where the camera is in a car with the subjects while it is moving along and being attacked by marauding hordes outside. The camera view moves from the front of the car to the back, moving around to all sorts of seemingly impossible viewing angles. There is a bonus section on the DVD which shows how this and other parts of the film were achieved, and makes very interesting viewing in itself. I give Children of Men three out of ten for plot, and seven out of ten for entertainment value.

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