Alfonso Cuaron delivers suspenseful Children

by Beacon Staff • December 13, 2006

Though at times cluttered and over the top, this new futuristic fable is an ambitious creation, one that blends science fiction, action and deep-seated despair to create beautiful scenes of peril.,Dystopia is ruthlessly applied to the screen with stunning technicality in Alfonso Cuaron's grim and gripping Orwellian spectacle, Children of Men.

Though at times cluttered and over the top, this new futuristic fable is an ambitious creation, one that blends science fiction, action and deep-seated despair to create beautiful scenes of peril. It's a timely, genre-bending concoction that, in its best moments, paints a vivid, fascinating portrait of the near future. This new time setting roughly mirrors the striking Los Angeles landscape of Blade Runner, only much dirtier and far more relevant to our current times.

In an interview with The Beacon, Cuaron said, "I wanted the audience to believe the film takes place in the present. It is not just a futuristic movie. It is a narrative on modern society, so by eliminating the common depiction of futuristic film, I'm bringing the story line to the present."

Children of Men begins in complete darkness with a barrage of news broadcasts overlapping one another, reporting on issues of illegal immigration, terrorist threats and homeland security.

These relevant hot-button issues make it sound as if it were a normal news hour on CNN. Then a newscaster reports the top story: Diego Ricardo, the youngest man on earth, has died at the age of 18.

The year is 2027, and women have lost the ability to become pregnant. The reason for this is never given, but the miserable conditions presented in the film's opening render the answer unnecessary.

Cuaron, along with cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, pan around a London on the verge of collapse, infested with armed patrolmen, religious fanatics and captured illegal immigrants.

We follow Theodore Faron (a convincingly weary Clive Owen), a government employee who secretly agrees to take a refugee named Kee (Claire-Hope Ashitay) to the coast of England in exchange for