Last night Jane and I went to see Children of Men over at Peckham, so I am going to take a short break from my current web scripting series and share my thoughts.
Children of Men
October 1, 2006 by Wulf Forrester-Barker
How close to the original novel does a film adaptation have to be? Children of Men is a superb, grim, thought-provoking movie but bears little resemblance to the P D James novel past the underlying premise (the human race has mysteriously become infertile and is now gradually fading out) and the names of a few of the main characters. It does mean that you can read the book without giving away most of the surprises but it did leave me feeling a little let down with what was otherwise an excellent movie.
I am sure that one of the reasons for the changes was to allow the director to hold a mirror up to the modern world; atrocities are committed by the government on the grounds of homeland security and, far from bringing peace, it raises up an embittered and dangerous brood of vipers who care more about striking back than seeking after any sense of what is right and just. The cinematography is frighteningly realistic; you could almost imagine it had been spliced together from contemporary news footage rather than being set a couple of decades into the future.
It is a high quality film from end to end: I can’t fault the acting, direction or attention to detail. I simply regret that it is being sold as an adaptation of a book that is superb in its own right rather than acknowledging that it is a quite different story spun from some of the same starting points.
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