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Film Review: Children of Men

Nathan Westfall

The Broadside

“Children of Men,” based on the book “The Children of Men” by P.D. James, is one of those films that got swept under the rug amidst the other high caliber films of 2006.

Typically thought of as being too dark and depressing for general audiences, this film is truly as masterpiece. As you follow the main character Theo (Clive Owen) through the tribulations of delivering his package to a clandestine research group, director Alfonso Cuarón takes the viewer on a gritty roller coaster that doesn’t let up until the last frame.

The plot centers on Theo, who lives in a future society where humans are unable to reproduce. When the opportunity is presented to him by his ex-wife (Julianne Moore)—a member of a free radical group called the Fishes— to provide transit papers through his connections within the government; Theo is forced into the depths of their society and ends up undertaking their mission himself. From then on the film moves at a breakneck pace, pausing every so often to let the viewer consider the gravity of the situation.

The largest standout in this film is the excellent cinematography. From the shot with the rotating camera inside of car when Theo and his party are attacked by the Fishes, to the merciless end battle scene, both of these were shot using special camera rigs and unbroken takes. This technique of not having cuts within the scene is intended to simulate a documentary, thus making the film seem more real.

Even though this film was overlooked by general audiences, it still should be considered as one of the masterworks of modern cinema. The combination of technical innovations in cinematography and the politically charged script makes Children of Men a must see for every cinema enthusiast.

You may contact Nathan Westfall at nathanwestfall@gmail.com

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1 COMMENT

  1. Again, nice review. I don’t share your same enthusiasm for the film though.

    I, too, found it to be rather dark.

    The premise is quite intriguing and does draw the viewer in. The whole “unable to reproduce” is rather unique.

    Not knowing the background involving the technical innovations, I was unaware of what was required or the intended effects on me, the viewer.

    Looking back, I can see how they were revolutionary at the time.

    Keep up the good work.

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