Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Children of Man: a great idea became a mediocre film

In the year 2027 the youngest man on the planet is eighteen years old. Scientist can not understand why all women have become sterile. In a society with no hope and no future everything has collapsed. Violence has taken over the entire world. Only Britain stand thanks to a totalitarian government with no humanistic reservations. All refuges are hunted down, closed in concentration camps and eventually exported. Our hero leaves a dull life. Once he had a child and a wife. No the child is dead and the wife is the leader of a terrorist group fighting for the rights of the refugees.

Suddenly the hero is contacted by his wife who asks him to use his connections in order to make some travel card for a girl refugee. While they make their escape plans the wife is killed and the hero is left alone with the girl. At that point the girl reveals to him that she is pregnant and she is trying to keep it secret because she is afraid that they are going to get her baby away from her. In these circumstances the bay is the hope of all people, a flag for political causes a valuable asset.

As usually actors do their job well. Unfortunately Julian Moore is killed at the beginning and the audience is deprived of the presence of one of the best woman actors of our times. Photography is well thought. Grey tones and earth colors rule the images transferring the hopeless and pessimistic feelings of humanity. Directing is more than adequate even it can be said that is doing something really inventive or majestic.

The film starts well with a good idea. The point that children are humankind’s hope is overstated. I don’t think that anyone would argue differently but the film makes a great deal of effort to prove the self proven As the film moves along, it can not resist all the possible connotations that spring into the mind from the image of a young woman with a child. Soon enough she is rendered as Madonna. People stop fighting in order to let her and the baby pass, they cry, they knell and pray. Moreover, the atmosphere in the beginning which is very convincing as dissolute, passive, futuristic in ends up in a religious, melodramatic and superficial episode.

This film had the perquisites to be a futuristic-classic. Along the way though traded some of its most intriguing characteristics for a religious, apocalyptic feeling. In other words it ends up as a typical Hollywood film. All loose ends are tightened, sacrifice is rewarded, and hope is restored. Unfortunately a film that could lead to some inner-thinking and worry and leaves us content and pacified.

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