Monday, February 12, 2007

Children of Men review

Hey, movie fans. If you are wondering if you should go see Children of Men, you probably won't have a huge problem from a faceblindness point of view. All of the important characters look distinctive, although I did figure out a little of the stuff I say below through "floating". If you can remember characters in books with lots of them and figure out politics and interpersonal cues, you will be able to figure out this movie. The camera work is a bit shaky, which gave my partner motion sickness, so if you are prone to that, look out.

Of course, whether you want to see this movie also depends on what kind of movie you like in general. I thought it was excellent, but it is very violent. It's set in a dystopian not-too-distant future England, where women have stopped being able to have babies. The world has pretty much exploded because without children in the world, a large number of people do one of two things: give up all hope for the future, or become violent religious fanatics convinced that God is punishing the world. The only stable country left is apparently England, but it's violent there too, and the government is violently removing refugees (referred to in slang as Fugees).

All I'll say about the plot is that our main character, Theo, is charged with the responsibility of shepherding a young Fugee woman, Kee, to safety.

Here are the characters. There is no one else you need to sort out.

Theo (also referred to as Thelonius and Amigo): Our main character. White man, in his late forties, with dark, short, curly hair, usually with stubble on his face. I think he is in nearly every single scene, and the camera follows him. There's hardly anyone to confuse him with except for one scene where you see his cousin Nigel. Nigel's wearing the gray shirt and his hair is fluffier at the top.

Jasper: An old white man with long, wild white hair. He has a wife, Janice, who is catatonic.

Julian (also called Julie, and at one point I thought I heard someone call her Joyce): Theo's ex. A white woman in her forties with long straight hair.

Kee: A young black woman with an African accent.

Miriam: A fifty-ish white woman with dreadlocked hair.

Luke: A forty-ish black man with short Afro-ish hair. If there's someone who meets that description in a scene, and he's talking, and he's NOT wearing glasses, that's Luke.

The Biker: I never caught this character's name, but he is white, appears to be in his late thirties, and has extremely long dreadlocked hair. He rides a motorcycle. If you see this man in any scene, he is the same person.

Sid: White man with very, VERY short hair who is kind enough to talk about himself in the third person, using his own name, all the time.

Marichka: Woman with long, dark hair who appears to be in her late fifties, and speaks an Eastern European language, very possibly Russian.

There will be a scene at a house with LOTS of people. You don't need to worry about who anyone else is. You can tell which man is Theo because the camera follows him.

So there are a lot of people in this movie, but as I've described, anyone who matters is visually distinctive. If you can tell people apart by cues other than faces and keep lots of characters straight, you'll be fine.

Good movie? 4/5
Good for FB Folks? 4/5
More reviews:
Rotten Tomatoes