Skip to comments.'Children of Men' destined to become cult classic [destined to the dustbin]
Posted on 01/08/2007 8:27:40 AM PST by No.6
With "Children of Men," Alfonso Cuaron, who directed the last Harry Potter movie, has liberated himself from the demands of children's fiction, serving up a forbidding futuristic drama that offers only the faintest glimmer of hope.
(Excerpt) Read more at courierpress.com ...
(Disclaimer: this post contains spoilers. If you intend to watch the film for some inexplicable reason, click away).
The original (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Children_of_Men) apparently actually has a plot. There are no children, society has rearranged itself in a rather dystopian fashion, and the lead character is a former advisor to the head of state, his brother. There is considerable exploration of the whys and wherefores of the state of government and of society in the speculated future. Our protagonist comes into contact with a resistance movement; in the course of the plot it turns out one of the resistance leaders is also pregnant with humanity's first baby in X years. So much for the book.
The screenwriters of the movie decided that this SF plot could be dispensed with nearly in full in favor of rehashing nearly every moonbat-liberal cliche' in the book. The protagonist is now not a former advisor in government but a one-time activist and protestor, now in a drone government job. The resistance leader becomes the protagonist's former girlfriend and activist. The pregnant lady role is given to a welfare-mom type who has no idea who the baby-daddy is and doesn't care.
Any hint of background on the causes of the baby dearth is cut out. In its place are frequent references to, of all things, Bush (as in George W.). So, if you were hoping for a SF film, forget it; all the science- (or speculative-) fiction has been expunged from the film.
A gratuitous pot-dealing ex-hippie is inserted (who has the only vaguely amusing lines in the film); his wife is in a coma (unexplained) but she was an activist too, with a wall filled with clippings from today's news and anti-Bush slogans. The thuggish police force, whose modus operandi appears to be shooting anything that moves and deporting anything non-white-English, is named, of course, "Homeland Security" even though the film takes place in future England. One character remarks that 2003 (as in the start of the Iraq conflict) was the year when everyone was the most blind. The only characters who are in any way kind or helpful display Marxist pictures or symbols which are filmed prominently so that the dumb viewer can get the point. This sort of sophomoric-lefty-moralizing continues throughout the film's length.
Meanwhile, the action has one common thread; senseless murder. The protagonist's girlfriend dies. The pot dealer dies, and his wife and dog too. The "Fish" (rebels) die. Nearly all of this killing is done without cause; for instance, the police interrogate the pot dealer about the protagonist's whereabouts by shooting him. This is a helpful way of getting information from a suspect?
So the characters blunder from bad to worse for two hours leaving bodies galore in their wake, at the end of which nothing happens. Well, a happy ending is somewhat implied but . Sort of a $80 million _Waiting for Godot_ with the dropping of bodies as tempo.
The upshot is that if your politics are somewhere left of Cindy Sheehan you might enjoy this; if you actually expected a plot or some science-fiction, much less a "_Blade Runner_ for the new century" as one review gushed, stay home. Maybe the book has something to offer, as apparently it's quite different from this disaster of a film.
Frankly, _Manos - The Hands of Fate_ had a more believable story and better acting.
My wife and I are seeing it this week. I'll gladly post a review in this very thread.
Anyone waiting for a happy, fun-filled futuristic fantasy has a long wait ahead of them.
I was thinking about that and decided that futurism that insists on a 'happy time' ahead for all is probably what they got in Stalinist countries. Just wait till the new 5 year plan completes...
Slasher movies always seem to have a built in audience but the violence is probably not graphic enough to attract them. A bit from a review of the film:
The somber palette and relentlessly downbeat milieu may not be for every taste, though some may discern biblical parallels in the "miraculous" birth of the child. Pervasive rough and crude language and some mild profanity, crude expressions, heavy but not graphic violence including explosions and shootings, a childbirth sequence, brief partial nudity and drug use. L -- limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling.
Is this based on the novel written by P.D. James about 20 years ago?
I used to like her writing, especially the Inspector Dagleish series, until she wrote this dreck.
"A few moments ... are nearly laughable" -- Never a good sign.
Mankind has always looked BACK to the "Golden Age" as being the most perfect so it stands to reason that the future must be bleak.
The special effects and camera shot are supposed to be spectacular. Does the film really mention Bush by NAME??? That would make no sense at all.
Yes it is. This is basically the Nativity Story in the context of a dystopian future. Joseph and Mary in the war zone.
It was even better on MST3K
Wow! Thank you for that detailed review.
PD James' book was not at all like that. It was very pro-life and religious (Christian). The hero, in fact, was a priest, and the society is a very Swedish socialist-style one in which people are all euthanized at a certain age (75, I think it may have been). In fact, the book begins with a chilling scene where an older woman is being "euthanized" with her age group and decides she doesn't want to go through with it.
There has been no normal childbirth for years, so women own dolls or small dogs and carry them around wrapped in blankets. And then a young woman shows up pregnant, and the society is completely thrown off by this and attempts to hunt down the woman and her protectors (the priest and some others).
I'm glad I didn't waste my time seeing this distortion of her book. I thought it was being suppressed in this country because it was pro-life, but maybe it just didn't do well in Europe (where it opened in October) and they're not going to distribute it heavily here.
My wife says the book is not bad and that the movie apparently bears only a passing resemblance to the book.
This movie is pro-life as well. The goal is to save the life of a child.
lol, that was one of my favorites!
"The special effects and camera shot are supposed to be spectacular."
If you attend films with an eye mostly for camera work, you may be happy in that regard. FR is a political board so I've focussed on that aspect of the film.
"Does the film really mention Bush by NAME??? That would make no sense at all."
The film references Bush by reference frequently; and you're right, it doesn't make sense.
Of course it's a dystopian topic (so is _Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep_) but there's a huge difference between a film drawing forth meaningful themes from a novel (as did _Blade Runner_) versus supplanting them with a gross propaganda message.
What is a telling comment on the Bush Derangement Syndrome is that these maroons actually think people will still be hating Bush in 2027 (or is it 2037?).
Thinking about it, they may be right. In the coming years, I look forward to causing strokes in geriatic hippie reprobates by suggesting to them that Nixon was a great President that got a raw deal for nothing.
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