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Children of Men (2006)

February 7, 2008

I went into this film with low expectations. The plot sounded silly to me. How could all the world’s women suddenly go infertile? Couldn’t scientific advances solve this problem pretty quickly, especially by 2027? And where is the struggle? Just put the girl in front of some TV cameras and the whole world will know she’s pregnant and I’m sure the second half of the film could have been avoided. Why they just didn’t call a news show the moment they got out of the first safe house was never explained.

However, this film does have one big redeeming quality. The style is simply amazing. Unlike most action films, instead of doing short, quick cuts, waggling the camera all around and throwing in some heavy metal, you get long, slow takes that draw out the action and let you live it. The entire time I was watching the first major encounter, in the car, all I could think was “Holy shit, that is just one take???” I was spellbound.

Near the end of the movie, during the gunfire anarchy, I thought the same thing. Normally in movies the violence is so boring, you just don’t care anymore. But here every death was a tragedy. Every human life was worth saving, every person’s pain was real. Sometimes people forget these things. Even in real life, a single death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic. Maybe if someone could bring to life the deaths in Iraq, Darfur, Kenya, the way people can be made to care about fictional people, then the world would stop being so apathetic and actively try to fix things.

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