In “Children of Men” the world in our near future struggles with this horrible realization. Some choose just not to think about it, some fight and die to try and find a solution, and some give in to the hopelessness and are prepared to simply live out their meaningless lives until the end of everything eventually overtakes them.
Clive Owen stars as Theo, a former political activist who has lost all hope after his own child dies and the epidemic of infertility takes over the globe. He is a films’ most unlikely hero, more prone more to drinking to ease whatever heart or body ache ails him and desparately pushing getaway cars then to don lifesaving attire and jet off to save the world. Theo finds himself roughly pulled in to a plan to safely transport a possible answer to the world’s childlessness outside of the confining and torturesque walls Britan has erected for anyone not a British citizen. The scenes of concentration camps, cages, uprising and violence are as disturbing as they are compelling in this gritty world where technology feels out of place though in a time far from our present. Theo becomes the anti-hero for this mission and though he almost found himself a victim of his own passivity we see in him flashes of courage as he visits old friends who, removed from the totalitarian society, breathe life into his despair. Michal Caine brilliantly plays Jasper, a kooky hippie-type pot grower and friend to Theo. After his own family’s past run-in with the British government, Japser is of a mind not to dwell on the fact that life will not continue if science or nature or anything else cannot find a way to bring children back to the human race. Instead, he lives out his days in a kind of tentative peace with his invalid wife, who we find out through glimpses at newspaper article headlines was a photojournalist tortured by some faction fo government.
The catalyst for Theo’s involvement in carrying out the seemingly impossible task at hand appears at first to be financial need and a draw from an past person close to him, but as he realizes what is at stake and what hope is still lingering on the edge of humanity he wastes no time saving all that is right and doesn’t give in to using the mission for political means, risking everything. Theo quickly finds out that there is hope, there is a chance and by doing everything in his power to transport something simple out of the country, perhaps he can help that hope survive.
Many times during the film extra long smooth, and fluid takes create an explicit reality and documentary feel. The attention to detail is everywhere, from the clothing, to the techonolgy and vehicles, to the familiar sights in London run down and ruined by years of carelessness and disrepair. The action turns quickly to a war-like atmosphere, where chase after chase erupts into and out of military and insurgancy violence. Yet amid this torturesome chaos and the displays of humanity demeaning and killing one another we see such heart-wrenching warmth as Theo finally brings the lost hope into a war-torn refugee camp. For a small moment, rebels, refugees and military almost bow in awe before the most unlikely saviour before once more the angry and determined continue their onslaught of degredation and destruction.
Through Theo, the future of human race sparks to life and though the outcome may remain unclear, we can be sure that at least his single heart was changed by the experience…he never gave up despite the odds, depsite the numbers behind him seeking him dead, despite the bullets flying, despite the sorrow and esspecially despite the careless way men treated eachother as their race begins to die off.
There is much I could comment on as far as paralells this film creates in realtion to Christianity and the hope we have in Christ, but I will leave my suggestions for you to make up for yourself. I do realize that in the world we live everyone is searching for answers; answers to death, answers to our future, and even answers to the ‘what if’ quesitons. If we don’t listen to the people around us and to what kinds of answers they are seeking, and if we don’t listen for God’s voice, how can we help them find the answers to questions they didn’t even know how to ask?
My Movie Rating: ********* (9/10)