Children of Men


Children of Men is a film wherein many things happen for no reason and with very little importance.

I suppose I’ll start with the elephant in the room: the prejudice against and subsequent horrific treatment of illegal immigrants. The viewer is subjected to this over and over again, but is never given a reason as to why. The mean, intolerant white British people hate colored people and want to kill them. But why? The singular act of terrorism that is shown on screen is passed off as a government ploy, but the reasoning for that is even vague.

The reason is political relevance to the year 2006. There is literally no other reason, at least not one that is depicted on the screen.

Watching Children of Men is like, well, watching a movie. The viewer feels absolutely no personal connection to a single character, and thus the things that happen to said characters have no impact. I take that back. The one character to elicit any kind of emotional response is Jasper (Michael Caine), and Alfonso Cuaron exploits this single meaningful character in a desperate attempt to make the viewer feel something. Why would Jasper, under any circumstance, give the suicide medication to his wife and dog and not take it himself? What if he wasn’t killed?

Why? Because Alfonso Cuaron needed the viewer to react to Jasper’s brutal murder. It would have been much less dramatic if the Fishes attempts at locating their prize were thwarted by Jasper committing suicide.

Can we just talk about the fact that the only woman to become pregnant in 18 years is named Kee? A bit on the nose, I think. I like to believe that the average viewer could puzzle out that this singularly fertile woman is the “key” to humankind’s survival without being bludgeoned over the head with it.

Clare-Hope Ashitey’s (Kee) performance was abysmal. Every line she uttered was cringe-inducing and completely removed me from whatever narrative Children of Men was attempting to communicate. Clive Owen’s (Theo) performance was as interesting as watching paint dry.

I really do not understand the love that this film receives. The worldbuilding and cinematography are notably positive, but those are just about all of the redeeming qualities.

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