This movie is a love story set in a Brave New World-type near-future where cities are heavily controlled and only accessible through checkpoints. People cannot travel unless they have "papeles" (papers in Spanish; words and sentences in many languages, especially Spanish, French, and Chinese are mixed with English in this new world), a special travel permit issued by the totalitarian government, the "Sphinx". Outside these cities, the desert has taken over and shanty towns are jammed with non-citizens - people without IDs forced to live primitive lives. William Geld (Tim Robbins) is a family man who works as a government investigator. When he is sent to Shanghai to solve a case of fake IDs, he meets a woman named Maria Gonzales (Samantha Morton). Although he realizes she is behind the forgeries, he cannot help but fall completely in love with her. He hides her crime and they have a wild, passionate affair that can only last as long as his visa: twenty-four hours. Back home, William is...
Mick Jones of The Clash sings the Clash song "Should I Stay Or Should I Go" in the karaoke-esque club scene, but he appears to get the words wrong. The song goes "If I go there will be trouble. If I stay it will be double", but he sings "If I go there will be trouble. If I go it will be double." See more »
The numerous seeming "errors in geography" are actually an intentional artistic choice. Because the film is set in a future where global cultures have become thoroughly merged, Michael Winterbottom purposely blended footage shot in Shanghai, Dubai and Rajastahn so that Shanghai has a desert outside it, etc. See more »
code 46 / article 1 / any human being who shares the same nuclear gene set as another human being is deemed to be genetically identical. the relations of one are the relations of all. / due to IVF, DI embryo splitting and cloning techniques it is necessary to prevent any accidental or deliberate genetically incestuous reproduction. / therefore: / i. all prospective parents should be genetically screened before conception. if they have 100%, 50% or 25% genetic identity, they are not...
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There is a looped animation running next to the names during the final credits. It shows a variety of things, including chromosomes, chromosome replication, and chemical structures. See more »
I was blown away by the portrayal of a multicultural community of the future. Languages and races all melded together into one global culture. This film is so coy in displaying its intelligence.
Being an average linguist, I loved the usage of Spanish, arabic, mandarin and more mixed in with English. Enough to entice, little enough to avoid viewer confusion. The backdrops of the scenes looked so natural yet foreign.
I was surprised by the sensuality displayed in the latter part of the film...not being used to seeing Robbins in such scenes. the main actress carries a curious beauty and attractiveness throughout her performance.
I was slightly disturbed by the code 46 violation, but not enough to say that this was not a fascinating experience. 7/10
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