13 March 2011 | RResende
children of orwell
Another Orwell inspired world. This kind of film drives me a little mad. I'm always fascinated by the pure visual possibilities of inventing a world, where you can do nearly anything. You can recreate the technology, you can invent how people dress, move, think. You can structure your own social environment. How great is that? Orwell envisioned and recreated the notion for modern audiences, but this is a long tradition that is rooted for a long time in anglo-Saxon tradition. Thomas Moore may have started it. The problem is that, in order for these worlds to function, and to make an audience, or a reader, connect to them, they have to be a very clear mirror to our own world, expressed in the simplification of its moral issues. In other words, you have to exaggerate the notions of good and evil, draw a very clear line, and place the people in the world on one side or the other. This one has a character literally crossing from one to the other.
Here the writers, aiming to reach a television audience, fished the story from the Bible. Now the Exodus is an incredibly rich book, filled with signification, but here they took the flesh and merely kept (some of) the bones. It's a merely update of the original events. OK for the kind of marketing i suspect this film was supposed to have. But not good enough to be interesting. And it assumes as trivial a rich text, and it is also a loss for all of us whenever someone simplifies any element of transcendental qualities.
The problem is the immense of moralizing that is made here. So we have the bad "natives" oppressing the poor "immigrants". Oh, but the immigrants are also not innocent, and even the peace prophet ends up succumbing to the violence against which he stood. This is too much for me, i suppose there is an audience that will tolerate and applause this, but i'm not the guy. The last (very) good film made that attempts the creation of a dark world, orwell based, was Children of Men. It worked for me because, among many other qualities, it cleverly placed a far more interesting existential theme at the center of the narrative, one that exceeds the mere "good-bad" thing. This one even gets one of the main actresses in that film, the one who, in Children of Men was the pregnant woman, the immigrant who suddenly was the light for all to follow, in a metaphorical very well written part. Here she performs a similar role, of the woman who bridges 2 antagonic worlds, but without any of the interest of Children of Men.
I recognize. This world is believable, the slums are very well achieved with (i think) not such large resources. There is a clever handling of sets and an illusion of space. It is not City of God nor Slumdog, but it works. The humanoid sculpture is also a good piece.
My opinion: 2/5