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With a thrilling background setting for the story, and a very watchable “England look” to it (the look you can find in 80’s films about the Northern Ireland conflict, maybe best presented by Neil Jordan), the film won my interest in the very first couple of minutes. I somehow seem to crave post-Apocalyptic settings, so this was a film made for me. Really good character faces at the heart of it, too, namely Clive Owen and Michael Caine.

The odyssey of a little group of survivors trying to save the first baby to be born on Earth in 18 years allows for a lot of changing drama, but what I found most interesting about it is the desire of the people to follow the road to a hypothetical refugee institution that will allow them to be human again. Whether this will ever happen, who knows – whether the institution actually exists or is just a government setup to conveniently collect insubordinate characters, who knows. The mood throughout the film is one of hopelessness, despair, but the kind of despair you find in Kafka or Tery Gilliam’s works (being incidentally the same, of course): it is the kind that drives action, that disallows heroes to just sit down, because they are being shoved around all the time. And it gives opportunity for interesting breaks: the way to fight an uprising in the future has more to do with World War I sieges than with sophisticated science fiction logistics that you may expect. War and crisis, this seems, throws civilization back not just intellectually, but also technically and procedurally. Just put a tank in front of this rebels’ headquarters and start shooting the crap out of them… There could have  have been more vision and less fighting, but on the other hand, the lack of vision fits well with the people’s inability to understand what the problem about their world is – and the fighting is Full Metal Jacket enough to provide entertainment through the film’s last third.

Pretty enthusiastic review at Roger Ebert’s

One Comment

  1. A really enthralling film that gets better every time I see it. Alfonso Cuaron is a talented director – I’ll be keeping an eye on him.

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