- Title: The Road
- Director: John Hillcoat
- Released: 2009
The Road is a gritty Dystopian film starring Viggo Mortensen and Kodi Smit-McPhee, based on the book of the same name by Cormac McCarthy. It follows The Man and The Boy as they journey along The Road, overcoming various struggles in a post-apocalyptic wasteland in a bid to survive.
I thought this film was ok. It certainly successfully portrayed a depressing, futuristic America overrun with ‘bad guys’ who regularly engage in in murder, cannibalism and brutality. There were quite grim and gory scenes, and I’m pretty sure nastier bits of the book were omitted from the film adaptation.
When looking at the father/son dynamic in the film, I know it is designed to evoke powerful emotions in the audience like love and sympathy, but I couldn’t help but get irritated at The Boy – his frequent distress calls for “Papa” (even when there is no danger) almost drove me mad.
Yet despite The Boy’s incessant whining, the most irritating character was The Boy’s mother, played by Charlize Theron. The few scenes she had powerfully showed the mother’s cold-hearted behaviour towards her family, making me dislike her almost instantly. However, in some twisted way, was she doing them a kindness? She knew she was going to die, and wanted to make it easier for them to deal with. As the narrator says, ‘She was gone and the coldness of it was her final gift’.
On the subject of narration, I really didn’t enjoy the excessive use of narration in the film. Surely that’s what reading the book is for?
However, the story progressed at a suitable rate. Paradoxically, it felt like nothing much happened, and yet everything happened – an entire story unfolded and 2 characters progressed physically, and morally. Unusually, there were no scenes I found particularly action-packed or memorable, it was just a morose journey of survival, yet I wasn’t bored either.
Overall, I liked this film. It made me feel things – anger, annoyance, disgust, a dash of sadness too. Would I watch it again? Maybe.