In this post I would like to suggest a motif in the film.
We have discussed the scene where Theo enters his cousin’s luxurious London home in great detail. His cousin Nigel lives in a rooftop apartment surrounded by art. Theo enters and is greeted by two growling dogs that are guarding Michaelangelo’s David, the left leg of which is held together by a bone-like steel bar. Theo then sits down to lunch underneath Picasso’s Guernica and afterwards takes in the view, which includes a massive reproduction of the cover of Pink Floyd’s Animals.
It is a disturbing scene as we have noted – what meaning does art have in the world of the film? Theo asks his cousin, amid all this wanton luxury, how he lives without hope for the future, and Nigel replies “The truth is, I just don’t think about it.”
It is in scenes like this that Cuaron intersperses lines that show man laughing at his own foolish actions, complemented by a recurring visual motif of a crippled society – the one-legged David, Theo limping in jandals, a terrorist bleeding to death from a leg wound.