Nondiegetic music in Children of Men

The movie Children of Men uses nondiegetic music to convey a depressing mood. The same slow song is used throughout the film to represent the internal feeling of the main characters; even though a lot of action around is occurring quickly, it internally feels life forever. This is because of the harsh life they are living and the fact that the main goal is getting Key’s baby to safety. When a mother is trying to save her baby, a second could feel like a million years. When no one has had a baby in 18 years, that baby will be especially precious. The song played is composed of long, drawn out lyrics, which are difficult to understand. This adds the idea that the song represents the slowness of how time feels to the main characters. Drawn out lyrics are equivalent to the drawn out feeling of time. The song is difficult to understand in order to represent what is coming next is not known yet and the current life of the characters is confusing.

The song is used repeatedly to connect all the events that the song is played during. It was played during Theo crying about Julian’s death, the old guy that Theo is close to sadly looking at lady in chair, when the old guy is shot, when Miriam gets left with black bag on head inferring she will die, during the shooting in the immigrant camp, and when Key and Theo are on the boat. All these events are going to have long term effects, which effect characters forever. Before Theo died practically everyone he cared for that we know of died with him witnessing it. The music is played at all these times to represent how all these different events will weigh on Theo possibly forever. The song finishes as she the boat approaches and Key realizes that Theo is dead. The end of his life is about the same time as the end of the song to emphasis that the meaning of the song greatly involves Theo. All the events that were displayed as this song was played affect Theo in some way and cause him pain. This song was also always synchronized with death to show the long-term effects of death.

What is the reason behind so many characters encountering death in this film? Why did Key and they baby survive? How many deaths are worth the life of one being?


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