I have just watched Children of Men which blew me away. Given that I’ve just finished reading The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood the two seem almost like companion pieces. I am fairly ambivalent about Clive Owen although he is excellent in Closer but this film does his credibility no harm whatsover as he is a hugely sympathetic and believable male lead.
Set in 2027 in a dystopian London where no babies have been born (in the world) for 18 years it concerns Owen’s quest to help a heavily pregnant black girl (Claire Hope Ashitey)to safety on an Island community called the Human Project. The society that has evolved since the human race found it was unable to procreate is nasty, dangerous factious and heavily ruled by an aggressive police presence. Peter Mullan as Syd, the bad, good cop is fantastic, as ever. So too is Michael Cain who plays an aging hippy that helps Owen and Ashitey (unfortunate surname I have to say)
The script, cinematography, plot and acting are all brilliant but there is one very long single-take scene that steals the show.
As Owen and his charge struggle through a side street that is hosting a modern day gunfight at the OK Coral, someone is shot and the camera lens is flecked with blood. Throughout the scene the blood remains on the camera lens which creates an incredibly realistic and actually quite terrifying sense that you, the viewer, are in the midst of this horrendous nightmare.
It’s a great movie and one I now wish I had seen in the cinema.