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Children of Men Synopsis

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The story is set in the year 2027, where the past two decades have left mankind with infertility causing societies slowly to collapse. Women have become infertile and can no longer procreate and has been unable to do so for 18 years. In addition to this threat, the world’s youngest citizen Argentine Baby Diego (Juan Gabriel Yacuzzi)has died at the young age of 18 after being murdered by his fan when he refused to grant him an autograph making mankind mostly close to extinction. The news was watched on a coffee shop.

Most of the world’s societies have collapsed leaving Britain as the only functioning state. However, Britain instigated an unfair rule where all foreigners have been declared illegal immigrants and forcing them to be deported by the British army.

main-qimg-dca466b08cebd93aafb08b65e34ac6beThe film’s protagonist, Theo Faron (Clive Owen) was in the coffee shop when a bombing happened, an act attributed to a guerrilla group called “The Fishes”. After the commotion, Theo was captured by The Fishes the next day and is reunited with his former wife, Julian (Julianne Moore), who he haven’t seen for nearly 20 years after their son Dylan died of flu. She also happened to be the leader of the underground group. Since Theo has connections to the government through his cousin Nigel, Julian asked him to secure some papers for them to head to the southern coast of England. However, there was a condition that he should accompany the refugee they are meant for. And so Theo joins Julian’s group to get to England.

Along the way they were attacked by mobs killing Julian. They escaped then found themselves in a farm safe house where Kee (Clare-Hope Ashitey), a refugee, confesses to him that she is 8 months pregnant. Afraid that if the British government will know of the pregnancy, they will seize them and use the child for political means, so Kee stayed with the Fishes.

Kee gave birth to a girl and after all the chaos was brought to the ship called Tomorrow, a vessel owned by the Human Project, a group of scientists dedicated to restoring human fertility. With the chaos and all the running they have been through, Theo was severely injured after being shot losing consciousness just after he’s heard of the baby’s burp. The movie ended with the voices of children laughing.

Children of Men Characters

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Children of Men is a 2006 British-American Science Fiction Thriller film bases on a 1992 novel “Children of Men” by P.D James. The screenplay was directed and co-written by Alfonso Cuarón and five other writers. Clive Owen, the actor who played the protagonist of the film also made some contributions to the film. This movie also stars Julianne Moore, Michael Caine, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Charlie Hunnam.

childThe film is co-produced by United Kingdom and United States and was released on September 2006 in UK and on Christmas Day of the same year in US. The critics of the film correlated a connection between the US Christmas opening and the film’s theme which is about hope, redemption, and the fight for freedom. Despite having a limited release and low earnings at the box office, Children of Men was able to receive recognition for its screenwriting, art direction, cinematography and its innovative single-shot action sequences techniques.

Children of Men received nominations and awards from different award giving bodies. It’s achievements were recognized by being nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Film-Editing and Best Cinematography in the Academy Awards. The film was also nominated for three Saturn Awards and was able to win the Best Science Fiction Film and was able to gather nominations for three BAFTA Awards bagging the Best Cinematography and Best Production Design.

Children of men is a film highly recommended by many film critics for people to watch. Renowned director Marc Webb included Children of Men among his list of Top 10 Greatest Films in 2012. Three years after, the film was named on top of the list of Top 10 Movies of All Time by the Pop Culture Philosopher.

Here are the list of the incredible actors and their characters which made the screenplay achieve its success:

 

 

THEO FARON (Played by Clive Owen)
Theo, the main protagonist of the film, is an apathetic and disillusioned former political activist who was devastated after losing his child during a flu epidemic years ago and got separated with his wife after their child’s death. Theo has already lost all hope to humanity until he became the unexpected savior and guardian of the mother of the last baby on earth, Kee, a refugee. The baby of Kee is the only remaining key to revive the lost hope of humanity.

After Clive Owen was cast in April 2005, he had met several times to collaborate with Cuarón and Sexton about his role on the film and impressed the writer and director with his insights which made them bring Owen on board for the writing of the film.

JASPER PALMER (Played by Michael Caine)
Jasper is a wise, benevolent, pot-smoking and an 1960’s activist old friend of Theo. Despite the dark future for humankind, Jasper remained a positive attitude in dealing things. Caine’s portrayal based his character on his experiences with his old friend John Lennon.

JULIAN TAYLOR (Played by Julianne Moore)
Julian was Theo’s ex-wife who he got separated with 20 years ago after their son  Dylan died from a flu epidemic. She also happens to be the tough and intelligent leader of the underground guerrilla group called, The Fishes. She reunited with Theo after their long-term separation and helped each other in the quest to bring back the fate in humanity.

According to Cuarón, Julianne Moore, was the perfect actor to portray Julian’s role. He initially wanted an actor who had the credibility of leadership, intelligence and independence– something that Moore has. 

KEE (Played by Claire- Hope Ashitey)
Kee is an illegal immigrant under the custody of the Fishes and the first pregnant woman in eighteen years. Kee bears the future of the whole human race in her making her a valuable asset to anyone who has her.

Kee’s character initially did not appear in the book but was a character added by Cuarón based on the recent single-origin hypothesis of human origins and the status of dispossessed people on the fact that humanity started in Africa.

LUKE (Played by Chitwetel Ejiofor)
Luke is the co-leader of the Fishes. He is the calculating and pragmatic right hand of Julian. Due to his hatred with the government who brands the Fishes as a terrorist group, he orchestrated an attack to kill Julian and planned to use Kee as a tool to gain support for the group’s revolution under his leadership.

MIRIAM (Played by Pam Ferris)
Miriam is one of the members of the Fishes and the midwife of Kee. Miriam was the one taking care of Kee and the strong comforter of Kee through out their journey to Tomorrow.

Children of Men Movie Insights

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The action was both set from the book and the film in England, a few decades advanced in the future. The scenario was that an intense worldwide sterility hit mankind cutting its ability to procreate and has been unable to do so for a quarter of century. All other societies have crumbled except for Great Britain that remained as the only functioning state in the world.

clive_owen_children_of_men_imageThe story revolves around the character of Theo Faron, how he journeyed to survive the chaos that happened after the world’s youngest citizen has died at the young age of 18 after being murdered by his fan making mankind mostly close to extinction since it had been 18 years since a new human life was born. Britain being the only functioning state then decided to deport the immigrants. He then found himself drawn into a small group of guerrilla group lead by his ex-wife Julian who is trying to protect a refugee woman named Kee who has inexplicably become pregnant. Kee has become an asset to anyone who has her. The child however is likely to be used for the government’s own political agenda. The child was apparently the only solution to restore hope in mankind and so that Kee and her child needed to be brought to the Human Project ship “Tomorrow”. The Human Project is a group of scientists dedicated to search for the cure to restore mankind. Theo Found himself risking his life to save what seems like the only hope of humanity.

Saying the film is an adaptation of the book written by P.D James can be quite unfitting. What is basically similar between the book and the movie is that it is set in England and it is basically about the lead saving a woman who inexplicably become pregnant when it hasn’t been possible for women to become one in the last decades. What fits in the right description for Cuaron’s work is that he inspired himself from P.D Jame’s world and borrowed the settings and characters name of the story.

Kee’s character initially did not appear in the book. Cuarón added the character based on the recent single-origin hypothesis of human origins and the status of dispossessed people on the fact that humanity started in Africa. All the other incidents in the film where written by Cuaron with the help of other writers and with Clive Owen who plays Theo with his ideas on the characterization of the roles in the film.

The future pictured in Children of Men is more like of an extension of our own present time but was depicted more vibrantly. Just like today, the future was seen like what it’s like today however the progress in this future stopped and has peaked on a downward trajectory.

As the story progresses, the movie becomes a clear depiction of people still believing in hope to restore humanity. Even in the present with people slowly losing faith in humanity, other people are still looking for hope to restore it.

Children of Men Movie: The Analysis

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The movie Children of Men is a tale of a society that is on the brink of extinction. It imagines a somewhat possible cause of human extinction and greatly suggests that it is really possible for humanity in all societies to have a dystopian future. This movie is indeed not your typical science fiction dystopia kind of movie.

children-of-menChildren of Men is somewhat a much darker version of our contemporary society. Cuaron made the scenario in the story and the movie in general looked like possible. Possible in the sense that it can really happen to humanity sooner or later. Cuaron noted that he didn’t want to be distracted by the future and doesn’t want the audience to be transported into another reality.

Although the film did not really succeed when it comes to the blockbusters arena, it did succeed to gain a lot of recognition by many award giving bodies because of its realism and outstanding work as a movie. The approach of the movie in both the story and the audience is unconventional. It allows the story to be depicted by the audience as something that could possibly their future. The audience are made to relate themselves to the characters to relate to their own circumstances. This made them connect with the movie in a much deeper and personal way.

The movie overall was made skillfully as it brings along the audience on a thrill ride and somewhat gives them a shock as they are left with eerie images of the world they are now living and the dark possibilities of the future. Overall, Cuaron did an amazing job as a director and have proven once again his place as a director and writer in the industry.

Is infertility more than just humanity’s nightmare?

Infertility is not really a new concept in science fiction movies and have been used to many films already some even about overpopulation. However in Children of Men, the story portrays a world suffering from genetic erasure as humankind has not seen a baby born for 18 years.

Infertility does not only means the absence of children or the inability to procreate, it could also be the absence of hop and sense of purpose that could lead anyone to give up when we do not have something to fight for.

In the movie, the cause of infertility was not really mentioned. So it does not really gave the audience the idea why it happened two decades from the present. However if we think of it, countries and Japan and Germany are already experiencing negative population growth. The reason for this cannot only be attributed to genetic disaster but can also come from different sources of how people live.

In reality, genetic disaster won’t happen overnight but perhaps would take a lot of years to happen With this, we will have more time to prepare and deal with the future problem. With the knowledge that we have today on how to give solutions to things, and with the minds that can predict future problems, we can only hope for to save humanity by then.

 

The Director of Children of Men (2006) : Alfonso Cuaron

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Alfonso Cuarón Orozco is a Mexican film director, screenwriter, producer, and editor. He is the first Latin American director to win an oscar in the field of directing. He is best known for his famous works such as the dramas A Little Princess (1995), Y Tu Mamá También (2001), the third film of the fantasy film Harry Potter Series (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban-2004), and science fiction thriller Children of Men (2006) and Gravity (2013).

eee00934831d73b09df304547bdf2239His works received a lot of recognition from several award giving bodies and most of them have been praised by both audiences and critics. His Tu Mamá También has received the Best Original Screenplay in the Academy Awards which six nominations were made under his name. His science fiction thriller, Children of Men (2006) was awarded with both Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Film Editing. He also received major awards for his achievement in directing which gave him awards from the Academy Awards, the Golden Globe Awards, BAFTA Awards and the Directors Guild of America. Cuarón is known for his ground-breaking technique of continuous uninterrupted shots that left his audiences in awe.

His science fiction movie, Children of Men, despite failing to earn big in the big screen due to its limited screening, have however received a lot of positive reviews from the viewers and the critics. This lead to nominations and receiving of awards from different award giving bodies. The film won the Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Film-Editing and Best Cinematography in the Academy Awards. The film was also nominated for three Saturn Awards and won the Best Science Fiction Film. It also won Best Cinematography and Best Production Design and other nominations in BAFTA Awards.

The craft truly runs in the blood of the Cuarón, as his brother Carlos and his son Jonás are writers and directors as well and have both helped hi co-write in some of his famous works. In the movie industry, Cuarón along with fellow Mexican directors Alejandro González Iñárritu and Guillermo del Toro are known as “ The Three Amigos of Cinema”.

 

Trivia:

  1. When he was asked to direct the third film of the Harry Potter Series, Prisoner of Azkaban, he said he had never read any of the Harry Potter Books.
  2. He was set to direct the movie Life of Pi (2012) but was replaced as he had to step aside due to the production of the Children of Men (2006).
  3. Like in the Harry Potter Film, he has never read the novel “Children of Men” by P.D James to which the screenplay “Children of Men” he directed was based on.
    He was part of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people back in 2014.
  4. When he accepted his award for Best Director for his 2013 movie Gravity, he apologized to Sandra Bullock, for scaring her during the shoot when he told her what sounded like in his Spanish accent “I’m going to give you herpes” when what he actually said was “I’m going to give you an ear piece”. It caused a loud roar of laughter in the crowd.