He didn't get where he is today by stealing somebody else's catchphrase.

Children Of Men

Today's word is: dystopian. Say it slowly now. Dis-toe-pee-en.

There seems to be a trend to my film-watching. This year, I think I've watched three or so films that take a grim view of our future. Here's another.

Set in London, it's 2027 and the world has changed. The last child was born in 2009. Mankind has become infertile. The story starts with the mourning of the youngest person in the world dying at the age of 18. Without children, so many things have taken a turn for the worst. Disasters have happened in so many other countries (such as Russian pushing the nuclear button on Kazakhstan) and Britain is a military state that revels in it's island status. There's propaganda everywhere - "Britain Soldiers On". Policy has changed so that all refugees are shipped back out of the country or put in the equivalent of British concentration camps. This doesn't really do Bexhill on Sea any favours. All the meanwhile, there's terrorism from "The Fish", who are trying to instigate an uprising, because they believe that humanity has a future elsewhere and the population is dwindling. Things really are quite bleak and London is plain dirty - full of smog, rubbish and graffiti.

You wonder if there's something in here that's also trying to be damning or prophetic about our immigration policy.

Hope comes along in the form of a pregnant woman and the story turns into a modern-day nativity, except it's set to a backdrop of a war-zone that is Bexhill. The war scenes, if I can use such a phrase are powerful and the camera work is startlingly close. It made me wonder if that's what the current situation in Iraq is like. Who knows.

The film does a very good job of showing one possibility for the future of Britain. It's slightly sci-fi, but in a discrete way. Cars and computers have moved on, but the smog hasn't. Michael Caine gets the best part I've seen him do in ages, playing an ageing hippie who grows and sells his own dope. The film keeps you guessing, has emotion, plot and is well written, along with having good camerawork. The bleak environment occasionally makes you think of 28 Days Later, but believe it or not, there's humour there too. I'd rate this as probably the best film I've seen this year so far and I'd even happily watch it again - a rare accolade. Go see.

Filmfour review. (*clicky*)
Trailer. (*clicky*)
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