The Future’s a Thing of the Past
No children are conceived any more. The youngest “child” is 18. Humanity is doomed.
Once upon a time, Theo (Clive Owen) was an activist and once he was in love. Now he morosely observes as the world crumbles around him. He sees the government discriminate and mistreat immigrants but does nothing. He sees the decay of society whose main pleasure is a pointless worship of the last “child” but does nothing. He does nothing at all till an old flame Julian (Julianne Moore) shows up with a secret.
Kee (Clare-Hope Ashitey) is pregnant, father unknown, her child is unique and will save the world. She reveals her pregnancy among a small herd of donkeys. She gives birth in a filthy and begrudgingly given room. The man who shelters her is not the father of the child. They must go on a journey and avoid those who would harm or at least abduct the baby. She and the child are almost regarded as holy, particularly the characters who let her past un-accosted in the midst of war.
The real meat of the story is the political one concerning the strife between the oppressed and the oppressors and the difficult circumstances which precipitate them. Reviews listed below and the trivia page at IMBD are good starting places to learn more about that.
I feel the female characters were given short shrift.
There is little hint that Kee can care for herself or that she has any sort of agency. Her personality is fairly uneven too: she makes a few sarcastic comments and pouts a bit and then basically gives over her future to Theo. She doesn’t appear to have a sense of the enormity of her pregnancy and how it will affect her personally and the world at large. Not that she needed to be overly self-aware but she could have been more to the story than a pot to grow a baby.
Julian, too was a disappointment. How has she managed to guide an operation as successful as she has in such a volatile political stage, and be such a flake? She acts ditsy, always spouting whimsical stuff and displaying her distinctive red hair. Frolicking with an ex-flame and completely oblivious to the intensity of the possibilities of danger in carrying out the mission. She was as blank as Kee, and just a plot point to get Theo involved.
It appears that the filmmakers took the title Children of Men at face value.
ETA. The inn keeper as noted by RoseKat is neither devoid of personality nor is she slow to react to the situation as it changes. I believe her name is Marishka (Oana Pellea). Kudos.
Clive Owen was perfect for the role. I loved him in this movie and his story kept me on the edge of my seat. I like his chivalry, his protective qualities, his everyman qualities. I bought him. I believed that he was a real guy, somewhere. It’s an engrossing movie and worth the time.
I would watch it again.