Last night I finally went to see Children of Men; haven’t been to the cinema in a while, but this was one I’d wanted to see ever since I heard the premise, I didn’t even need to see a trailer. It was pretty intense, and it feels slightly wrong to say “I loved it” about a movie about the end of the world, but it was fantastic. One of the things about really good stories concerning alternate realities, futures, worlds or whatever, is the believability factor. That’s why I love shows like Torchwood so much – the writing and the stories just bring a disturbing sense of “this could actually happen”, on a level that doesn’t need monsters and aliens to be frightening; the mere idea of the very real possibility that it all could happen is scary enough on its own.
The most disturbing part, I found, was the fact that yes, it was the end of the world, but unlike say, War of the Worlds, it wasn’t an invasion or some global disaster that threatened to end humanity without too much delay. Everyday life was a long, slow walk towards the end of the world, consumed by the knowledge that existence no longer had any meaning. In fifty or sixty years, the human race would be extinct, and life was merely the resulting insanity that was complete and utter destruction and chaos in the streets.
It was very different. You just don’t see movies like this. Movies usually require a willing suspension of disbelief in order to be entertained; this needed no such thing. I don’t even think “entertained” would be the right word to describe it. It was just shocking to fathom a reality that could very well happen, who knows, obviously not in the near future but who’s to say in a couple of hundred years something like that is impossible? What happens to humanity when it’s told that life no longer has any purpose; for surely our ultimate goal is to carry on the species. An incredibly insightful and frighteningly real depiction of what happens when purpose is taken away. Go see it.