Children of Men (2006) – The Last Days of the Human Race

10 billion people share the same oxygen on Earth is not impossible. It doesn’t feel suffocating and making our chest tight. However, warming is just a different thing. Not because of global warming or natural events, humans themselves are burning this Earth. In a way, I take the context in which humans race to find discovery. Don’t forget we also never get along because there is no similarity between us. As if, a narrow invisible space oppresses us. Scientists try to predict what will happen in the future. Nevertheless, no one could determine because there are more than 1001 emotions would be waiting for us. There is only one who can control all of them.

Dystopia, a place where imagination feels uncomfortable, bad, and holds one law. Dystopia films generally have dark, neutral, emotionless, dirty, and other discomforts. Overpopulation is one of the keys and main themes of the genre. Yet, Alfonso Cuarón’s “Children of Men” is an upside-down world. This movie takes the theme of dystopia in which humans no longer reproduce offspring. Everyone becomes barren of women and men. This incident has been going on for 20 years but no one knows the cause.

No one can be sure. Some say it’s because of aliens and some say it’s just a conspiracy game. Some say it’s our karma from God and some say because we become lost. All women throughout the world cannot get pregnant. In the worst conditions, governments around the world are in chaos. What only leaves us in Britain, the only stable country. In such a narrow and accidental place, Clive Owen as Theo found a glimmer of hope. It’s a woman, Clare-Hope Ashitey as Kee, is pregnant without ever having any contact with any man at all.

I first learned of this film since watching “Roma” and never heard of “Gravity” before though; which is embarrassing honestly. I just know the name of Cuarón since watching a lot of essay videos about film school. I often get the researcher mentions a lot about this movie; especially when they talk about long shots. In another topic, many of the videos mentioned of film. I keep thinking about how good the film is apart from its cinematography. We know this film from its many long takes especially the phenomenal forest sequence. But, this movie is more than its cinematography.

Broadly speaking, “Children of Men” is very broad and at the same time has a lot of small details. If you think this movie is just the premise alone, this movie isn’t enough if it’s just talking about that. There is a variety of information that occurs in this film. There is the victim, the perpetrator, the cause, the effect, and the solution. But, the movie never tells us directly through its dialogues and where was the beginning. The movie only tells those pieces of information through small details. Call it like the TV news, the technology, the intertextuality, the sub-text, and many more.

Gradually, Cuarón didn’t tell the film directly. He only did it in stages to stages. By dividing all the points together, he only used the media and other elements. There are background and foreground; if you watch this movie again, really easy to miss all of the small details. You never wake up when you watch the third time. Behind the scenes, “Children of Men” is an easy-to-understand movie. Linearly, this movie moves one direction and one time; including almost the entire sequence have one unbroken shot.

An interesting fact from the director is that he has only directed four films with a count of fingers. “Roma” probably is one of the best films in the year. Yet, there aren’t too many of his works besides this. They are “Gravity” and “Y Tu Mamá También”. On the other hand, Alfonso Cuarón often collaborates with Emmanuel Lubezki except for “Roma”, Cuarón takes over the cinematography. Lubezki is like a Beethoven of filmmaking although it’s ridiculously comparative and hyperbolic. Every scene is a painting of modern contemporary art. The interaction between characters is very clear. There are many topics you can say such as depression, death, hopelessness, and so on. However, the movie has many works of art and literature including Banksy’s “Kissing Coppers” and George Orwell’s “Animal Farm”. There is also Sandro Botticelli’s “The Birth of Venus”.

In the Children of Men universe, no matter which race you come from, whether black or white, it’s limitless. Unless you are in the activist or terrorist, you are hostile to the world. Every character in this movie feels pressured to reach just one ego. They also aren’t the actual characters from this modern era apart from this is a 13-years-later movie. Personally, “Children of Men” has its class between dystopia films or literature and science fiction in general. Overall, this film has its standards. At least, this is a great movie, I mean, great movie for me.

5 out of 5 stars.

Salman Al Farisi

An Indonesian who loves to watch and read everything. A literary student who likes to write about reviews and essays on Crackdown Review. But, I just wannabe critics who love arthouse than anything.

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