The Road Review
Written by: alex1176
"The Road" is a bit of a downer. It's based on Cormac McCarthy's novel whose "No Country for Old Men" was adapted into an excellent film. This one isn't quite as good, but it's close. In it, Viggo Mortensen plays The Man; a rugged man who clings to his only son (named simply The Boy) as they travel by foot through a cold, apocalyptic version of America. The Boy is played by Kodi Smith-McPhee who delivers a very simple, but effective performance. They're both tired, hungry and cold and our the movie's main focus.
The world in "The Road" is a very lonely one since most of the world's population has been killed off. The apocalytic imagery brings to mind recent sci-fi "end of the world" flicks like "I Am Legend", but it's taken very seriously here. There is no reason given for the massive devestation, it just simply is. Maybe the prediction of 2012 happened. Who knows. The point is mankind, animals and natural resources are all but gone and hope along with it. This is a movie that depicts a grim vision without compromise. The only bright moments are memories The Man has of his pretty wife played by Charlize Theron during her last days. And even then, the flashbacks are filled with strife and discussion of suicide.
The Man and The Boy live without resorting to cannablism, something the world's few survivors have thrived on. At one point, they stumble upon a house where naked, starving people have been forced into a basement as a resource for future meals. It's something out of a horror film, but without relying on the conventions of one. In another scene (to brief, for me), they stumble upon an Old Man well played by Robert Duvall. He's vision impaired and tells tales of the old days, but won't say what happened to his own son. It's at this point when the viewer will probably see how hope has vanished from the world. All that matters is love and survival.
Actually, the conclusion does contain a glimmer of hope. One that isn't to bright, but it's still there. "The Road" is a sad, lonely movie. It contains powerful images and very good acting. It may not be for everyone, but fans of the Coens' adapation of "No Country for Old Men", it's a must see. I'd give it three and a half stars out of four.