Music in “Children of Men”

I thought the movie “Children of Men” was brilliantly produced and directed; I can definitely say that it is one of my favorite films.  There are so many things that one could focus on in this movie, which I probably will in writing to come, but for now I have decided to focus on the musical aspect of the film and how it relates to the work as a whole.  When we first saw Theo talking with Jasper about the chaos going on in Britain and the issue of infertility, the song “Life In A Glass House” by Radiohead was playing in the background.  (I noticed this because I love music to a ridiculous extent.)  Below are the lyrics:

“Life In A Glass House”

Once again, I’m in trouble with my only friend
She is papering the window panes
She is putting on a smile
Living in a glass house

Once again, packed like frozen food and battery hens
Think of all the starving millions
Don’t talk politics and don’t throw stones
Your royal highnesses

Well of course I’d like to sit around and chat
Well of course I’d like to stay and chew the fat
Well of course I’d like to sit around and chat
But someone’s listening in.

Once again, we are hungry for a lynching
That’s a strange mistake to make
You should turn the other cheek
Living in a glass house

Well of course I’d like to sit around and chat
Well of course I’d like to stay and chew the fat
Well of course I’d like to sit around and chat
But someone’s listening in.

Listening to this song within the context of the situation was interesting because to me, it ties in to the plot and underlying thematic elements of the movie.  The phrase “Living in a glass house” reflects the lack of security and privacy that every individual faced.  For example, the frequent bombings were so frequent that individuals seemed to grow accustomed to the dangerous environment in which they were living. This part also highlights the fragility of Theo and Kee’s situation.  Throughout the journey to get Kee and her daughter to the Human Project ship, they faced numerous volatile situations.

The line, “Once again, packed like frozen food and battery hens/ Think of all the starving millions/ Don’t talk politics and don’t throw stones” brings to mind the image of the immigrants who were captured, caged, and deported to refugee “camps,” which was essentially a total return to the state of nature.  With such a heightened level of political unrest or hope of a future, people were forced to face horrible and dangerous living conditions.  Furthermore, the lyrics, “we are hungry for a lynching” reflect the attitude of the people left alive.  Many seemed to have become so desensitized to any sort of human-like emotion that they expressed their fear and anger through violence.  In the scenes from the refugee camp, everyone behaved like animals, unphased by the violence and bloodshed.  In fact, it was not until Kee’s baby was revealed that everyone ceased to fire, staring in awe at the reminder of humanity and purity.  (Unfortunately, this was short-lived.)

Finally, the recurrent line, “But someone’s listening in” ties into how Theo and Kee were constantly being watched and followed throughout the entire movie.  Even when at Jasper’s house, which was supposedly safe and secluded, they were found and were forced to continue running.  This line also reflects the role of the government in the movie.  In Britain, the government was incredibly involved in individuals’ lives, whether through shutdown of the borders or the issuing of antidepressants and Quietus kits, a somewhat shocking euphenism for government-assisted suicide.

Clearly, this is only one small aspect of the movie—I just found it so interesting how such a brief moment has the power to provide so much insight to the film as a whole.

 

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Music in “Children of Men”

  1. faith1989 says:

    This is a very insightful look into something I didn’t notice at all. I agree about the repeated lyric of “But someone’s listening in” really captures the paranoia in the film, especially how Theo feels.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s