Let Me Put My Suggestions In You: Children of Men
There are a lot of post-apocalyptic stories out there for all of us to indulge in, but every once in a while one really hits home. Children of Men was one of those films for me. I guess the story about the human race being unable to conceive children, and hence facing certain extinction, was not the reason I loved this movie. But there are many more that I want to talk to you about. This movie is one that I find myself coming back to again and again, not tiring of it’s beauty and darkness, as well as it’s message of hope and in a broken world. So I figured it was only appropriate to make a suggestions post out of it. Of course, for those of you that have not seen it already, read on for my spoiler-filled review of why this movie is one I will suggest as a personal favorite to all you evil geeks out there.
This movie takes place several decades in the future, and our opening scene tries to get us up to speed on the current situation as the news is all the local stores is broadcasting the death of the youngest person on Earth, Baby Diego (now 18), who was assassinated earlier that day. People are horror struck as the story enfolds, reminding me of the footage of mourners across the world when Princess Diana was killed. We see our main character Theo (played by Clive Owen) grabbing a drink at a coffee shop just moments before that very store is blown up by a terrorist act. Instantly after the explosion we start hearing a ringing in our ears, as if we were there and our ears are adjusting to the unbelievable event that we just survived. The camera stumbles around, making it feel like you are trying to adjust your footing, and out of the rubble and dust comes a poor victim holding her recently torn off arm. It is just a split second scene, but it is incredibly powerful and shaking.
That scene is one of many in this movie that I just find all around amazing. I don’t know what the definition of cinematography is, but the first time I saw this movie I thought “Wow, if there was ever a movie that needs to win an Oscar for cinematography, it’s this one.” Whoever the director was, he did an incredible job filming shot after shot where you feel like you are in the scene right alongside the main characters. In particular, there are two incredible chase scenes in cars that fly by so fast, but leave you sweating and panting like you were right there with those actors in the car. Julianne Moore was advertised as one of the main characters in the film. She is a main character, playing Theo’s ex-wife and now militant Julian, though she is murdered fairly early on in the film. Her murder involves her being shot through the neck as their car tries to flee an onslaught of terrorists on motorcycles wielding various weapons. Holy shit is all I can say, that scene was probably one of the best filmed scenes I have ever seen in my life, filling you with panic as you feel like you are in the car with everyone trying to survive and save Moore’s character all at the same time.
This movie also has some powerfully moral and moving characters. Of course, one of my favorites is the retired journalist Jasper Palmer (played by Michael Caine) who Theo visits out in the country whenever he needs a break from the monotony of his current day to day life. He also turns to him for asylum when he and Kee are fleeing the various groups trying to capture her. This guy is just freaking awesome, living in a beautiful cabin in the woods where he cares for his dying wife and dog, but also indulges in end of life pleasures like growing his own marijuana. His favorite blend: strawberry fields. This guy knows how to have a laugh and enjoy life when all seems lost, and even though some might argue his tendency to get high might mean his moral conduct is less than admirable, Jasper is truly one of the most moral characters in the entire film.
Meeting Jasper also gives us an exposure to some of the other new options in this childless future: humane euthanasia for all. The state actually produces these pills that effectively put you to sleep as one of their many ways of dealing with the chaos that this doomed society is facing.
Ultimately the story ends up being about Theo’s quest to help Kee, the first pregnant woman for over a dozen years. Her very existence could lead to quite a bit of uprising amongst the human race, and the government might be inclined to abduct and experiment on her. She is on a mission to get to “The Human Project”, a possibly imaginary ship that is a haven to many where she can raise her child in peace and help determine if there is something unique about her that will enable the human race to begin repopulation.
During their mission, Theo must go to his uncle, who has a high position in government. Another stunning image in the film for me was during this visit, when Theo approaches his uncle’s penthouse and sees relics of some of the world’s most famous artwork salvaged throughout the apartment. From Michalangelo’s David to a piece by the infamous Banksy, it is a beautiful apartment that brings back a lot of memories from my traveling to world to see these pieces in real life.
Ultimately the film ends in a refugee camp, and our baby is born before she can reach The Human Project. But more incredible footage takes place as our now trio rushes to get to the ocean where they can meet up with the ship. They make it, leaving us with a feeling of hope for the future and the human race, though not without sacrifice.
I hope you all enjoyed this movie as much as I did, there are just so much stunning scenery, amazing footage, and little idiosyncrasies about it that I adore about it. And if you haven’t seen it yet, you have my suggestion, get your ass in gear and go see it!!
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Posted on April 23, 2014, in Let Me Put My Suggestions In You, Movies and tagged Children of Men, infertility, let me put my suggestions in you, Movies, post-apocalyptic, Science fiction, The Human Project. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.