Through the use of many long shots throughout the film, “Children of Men” gives the audience a much closer look at the apocalypse by making it seem as though the viewer is experiencing the events with our main characters. For instance, take a look at the scene in the woods when the group is suddenly chased by the hoard of people. Prior to this, the audience watches the characters interact happily as they joke around. This mood is quickly turned on its head as the action begins. For the viewer, the action is not divided between multiple cuts and jumps in time and therefore is much more like it would have felt being in the car with the characters. Thus, the scene is so much more immersive because what we are watching feels more like the real thing than traditional action movies we are so used to seeing.
This use of long shots is also very effective in non-action scenes. The film introduces the viewer to the world the movie is set in with a very long shot that begins with news coverage of Baby Diego’s death. Our walk from the cafe down the street is filled with bleak coloring and sad music and all-around just gives off the feeling that the world as we know it has gone to shit. With the use of a long shot and a shaky camera, the viewer feels like they are walking beside Theo and experiencing this bleak world with him.