International Writers Magazine: Film
Directed By Alfonso Cuaron
Starring : Clive Owen, Julianne Moore, Michael Caine
have GOT to read the book" not something I usually come out
with on the way out of the cinema, but on this rare occasion they
were the first words out of my mouth. Promptly followed by my
utter disgust at the way people will pay eight pounds for popcorn
then leave it on the chair untouched.
I have always found
that if I go to see a film that's based on a book I have read, I never
enjoy it. I usually find that, films have to skim over the more intricate
and subtle of moments in favour of good looking actors fancy stunt scenes,
racy sex moments (ok I'm not really complaining there) and well, not
being sat in the theatre for the eight and a half hours it took you
to read the book.
However, watching Children Of Men, and witnessing a fabulous
performance by Clive Owen as Theodore, inspired me to step into unknown
territory and get hold of the original tale by P.D.James. I had some
unanswered questions that I thought the book might shed some light on,
so I could fit together the final pieces of this apocalyptic puzzle.
The story is set in Britain, in the scarily not too distant future,
where mankind faces the ultimate dilemma- the inability to reproduce
and repopulate the earth. The human race is dying, and we come into
the story as the death of the youngest person on the planet is announced.
Science and religion which until now have always provided answers and
solutions have failed the people and hope seems to be a thing of the
past as well. The world is crumbling, and society has broken down into
people who know nothing but fear and paranoia.
We follow Theo, who spurred on by a meeting with his ex wife Julian
(Julianne Moore) joins an underground society who are fighting for justice
and a way out of life as they now know it. Like all good main characters,
he has a pot smoking wise cracking father figure called Jasper (Caine)
who lives in a hut surrounded by CCTV and is wanted by the government
for stirring trouble. He proves a faithful alliance when the underground
movement betrays Theo, his ex wife Julian and the reason she came to
him for help. A small, but incredibly significant reason.
Together they journey to the coast to get this 'reason' to safety, but
are attacked by government officials, who manage to murder one of our
key characters in a heart-wrenching scene. To top it all off, when they
kill one of their attackers in self defence, they end up wanted for
'terrorism' themselves. The rest of the film follows them as they flee,
and we see more murder, terrorism, betrayal, even controversial issues
such as euthanasia and suicide dealt with in a painful yet sensitive
way. But is it all for nothing? Can the human race be saved? Will Earth
ever hear the cry of a new-born baby ever again?
Caine and Owen
film is very real, hauntingly real, the actors, the emotions, the
twists and turns all make for a gripping and chilling projection
into a possible future for us, easily the best film I have seen
all year- so how did it measure up to the book? Well I was surprised,
I expected the book to blow me away, I expected to get lost in it
and to declare it better than the film- maybe it's because I saw
the film first, but I just could not get into it. Halfway through
the paperback and I still hadn't met the key character, the corruption,
the betrayal, the risk the thrill the adventure. I didnt feel
like the film had missed anything, glossed over anything or downplayed
any key moments, only enriched them.
I would recommend
the film to anyone who wants to see something credible believable and
yet terrifying, and I think Curon did an amazing job of bringing a worryingly
plausible story onto our screens and into the backs of our minds
Jen is studying Creative Writing at the University of Portsmouth
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