THE ROAD Movie Review
I just got back from watching The Road which stars Viggo Mortensen and Kodi Smit-McPhee as a father and son trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic world. Well let me tell you, this is a not a movie you want to go see if you’re down, because it will depress the hell out of you. But if you think you can handle it, then the movie takes you on quite a journey.
I haven’t read Cormac McCarthy’s book that the movie is based on, but it’s on my to reading list now.
The story focuses on the relationship between the father and his son and how the world they live in affects their humanity. There is a very well illustrated contrast between the father dealing with the harsh reality and seeing the world through adult eyes, and the son, who even though has seen so many horrific things, still retains his innocence.
The whole film relies on Viggo Mortensen and Kodi Smit-McPhee’s performance and the on-screen relationship they created, and let me tell you, it works. That kid is so unbelievably good and made me shed a tear more than once. And Viggo Mortensen is of course brilliant, like he always is.
It must have been a real emotional movie to shoot for the actors to remain in such a state of mind. The Road touches on a darker side of humanity and what people are driven to in desperate times. While watching it, I was in a constant state of anxiety as to what was going to happen to the characters. The mere sound of someone near would send the characters in a state of panic, and that fear was translated to the audience very well. They made you feel like you were there with them, and it is clear that this has a lot to do with what the actors brought to the screen.
John Hillcoat, the director, must also be praised for capturing this post-apocalyptic world and showing what monsters people can become, while at the same time contrasting it with this precious and beautiful love between a father and his son trying to survive.
The only thing that I did not enjoy as much were some of the flashbacks that the father had of a time before all the horror. We find out about what happened to his wife who is played by Charlize Theron, but some of them felt more like a distraction, and I just didn’t connect with the wife.
Overall, The Road left me feeling very sad that this could represent a possibility for our future, should such a disaster hit the world, and it really makes you wonder how you would react.
In such a case though, the one tip that I did hear from cast interviews is to keep a dog around because they can not only feel danger and hear better than you can, but they can find food for you. So there you have it.
Title: The Road
Director: John Hillcoat
Cast: Viggo Mortensen, Charlize Theron, Guy Pearce, Robert Duvall, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Garret Dillahunt
Synopsis: A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. It is cold enough to crack stones, and, when the snow falls it is gray. The sky is dark. Their destination is the coast, although they don’t know what, if anything, awaits them there. They have nothing: just a pistol to defend themselves against the lawless bands that stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a cart of scavenged food–and each other.
Release Date: November 25, 2009
Watch the trailer here