January 21, 2010

The Road – wonderful misery

Title:
The Road
Rating:
4 out of 5 stars
the road

I told the boy when you dream about bad things happening, it means you’re still fighting and you’re still alive. It’s when you start to dream about good things that you should start to worry.

To say that John Hillcoat’s The Road is emotionally hard-hitting is something of an understatement. As someone who hasn’t read the Cormac McCarthy novel on which the film is based, I wasn’t too sure what to expect. The words “post-apocalyptic” have been bandied about, but contrary to immediate perceptions, this isn’t a film on a soapbox, bashing home a message about the potential near-future consequences of the way we’re living. Rather, it came across as a rather difficult examination of human nature, and what becomes of us when absolutely everything that constructs our lives is ripped away. The simplistic but all too real separation of “good guys” and “bad guys”, with the grey that lies in-between, and the terrible decisions people make when balancing survival with suffering.

The performances by Viggo Mortensen and Kodi Smit-McPhee as father and son were great, drawing you in to their relationship and their individual struggles. My favourite thing about the film, however, was the cinematography. The bleakness of the landscapes seemed to bleed off the screen, the familiarity of the various settings creating unease as they were presented in a very unfamiliar context.

As long as you can handle the powerful themes of misery and futile struggles, I definitely recommend The Road. But do make sure there’s something light-hearted available to cheer you up when you get home.

V xx


- One comment Not publicly viewable

  1. After seeing the film martyrs at the weekend which has left me quite damaged! I felt I needed a good disney film to sort myself out and didn’t want to see this just yet! I just finished the book last night. Might try and catch the film some time next week and have the samaritans on speed dial afterwards.

    05 Feb 2010, 14:51


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