Wow. I really enjoyed this film. There’s something to be said for science fiction over space opera. When a film like Children of Men is able to introduce one simple ‘science fiction’, i.e. that all humanity has suddenly become infertile, and turn it into a compelling story it never fails to grab my imagination.
The plot revolves around Theo, a former activist turned square, who is approached by a revolutionary cell (read “terrorists”) to help them get a young refugee into Britain. Following the loss of fertility much of the world has gone to seed and Britain is the last remaining civil society left on the globe.
Problem is, it’s not so civil to refugees. It’s pretty easy to see where the plot goes from here. The film plays on a large number of contemporary fears including terrorism and refugee floods, but doesn’t labour them. The world is essentially falling to peices in front of the viewer’s eyes, and you know there’s nothing the characters can do to stop the accelerating decline. The references to torture of dissidents and inhumanity of “civil” societies to the helpless are writ large, and there is constant reminders of the sheer folly of big government trying to cope with a collapsing world.
And into this maelstrom the first known pregnant woman in 20 years is introduced.
Here I was thinking they were going to discover cloning or something, and the simple device of trying to protect what could be the only pregnant woman in all the world from the insanity taking place around us is introduced. And it works. There are small imperfections, but as a whole the story works brilliantly.
Oh… one imperfection is that the chemistry between the leads simply does not work. In fact it is aggravating. Ah well.