Friday, January 26, 2007

Children of Men

Title: Children of Men (2007)
Dir: Alfonso Cuarón
Rating: ***** out of 5 stars

This film is INTENSE. And I love it.

Let me begin with the brilliant story: It's the future and the world is dying. Women have mysteriously become infertile and thus human extinction seems inevitable. Then miraculously, a young African girl becomes pregnant. A group of activists attempt to transport her safely across war-torn England while some others try to exploit her for political gain.

Children of Men is realistic, gritty, and unrelenting. Some movie scenes have shocked and unsettled me (like the first 10 minutes of Saving Private Ryan or the last 10 minutes of Requiem for a Dream), but this whole movie does just that. It can be intensely violent and yet it feels very real. Perhaps that is what makes it so scary - it might come true someday.

The actors are top-notch, notably Clive Owen as a regular guy who finds himself responsible for saving a young girl, her baby, and ultimately the world. Michael Caine and Chiwetel Ejiofor also turn in strong performances. I felt like I was watching real people and every tense situation had my stomach in knots.

Visually, the film is gorgeous. Cuarón's use of continuous, handheld takes are stunning and really contribute to the film's realism. With its dark, gritty look, Children presents a practical vision of the future - one dominated by war and desperation. But there also exists a feeling of hope therein. The film portrays the ugliest side of humanity, and then reminds us that human kindness can persevere even in mankind's final hour.

Don't miss this movie.