Saturday, January 16, 2010
You have to know if you are preparing to see The Road to expect a very, very, very (did I already say very?) dark and bleak film. If you have read Cormac McCarthy's book of the same name you will already know to expect this but I prefer to warn nevertheless.
The Road (the book) was actually the first present Fabio ever gave me. I invited him over for dinner and he brought me a copy of it. Strange gift but let's try not to analyze it too much... I of course read it, eager to find some clues as to why he gave it to me. I did not find any, but instead read a stirring, eloquent, and magnificent tale of a father and a son, alone in the world after an untold apocalyptic event wipes out all of civilization as we know it.
Viggo Mortensen stars in this film and as usual gives himself 100% in his deep, rapt and physical portrayal of a desperately in love father who will do anything to protect his boy. The new world is littered with "bad guys" who will pillage, rape, torture and kill anything and anybody they find. There is no more light in this world, no more color, no more animals, no more normal people. Nobody can be trusted and one must keep moving on to survive. Viggo and his son are trying to reach the shore where they hope to find what they are looking for- life.
The art direction of the film is superb, portraying this desolate and grim world as I had imagined it from the book- gray, harsh, burned, austere and cold. Charlize Theron makes a few appearances as the boy's mother but only brief, as she gave up on this so called "life" and on a survival which she deemed futile.
There are scenes of great sadness, fear, and tragedy, but also of love and of hope. That is an outstanding feat to accomplish and this film does it in a very understated way. I would recommend to anyone to read the book (it's not very long) before seeing the movie in order to better understand it and gain more depth from the experience. While not as strong and gripping as the book, this is an excellent attempt at putting it on the screen and it will nonetheless terrify, overcome and impress you.
And why did Fabio give me a copy of The Road? Perhaps he could see into the future and wanted to tell me that he will be a really good dad to our yet to be born, and at the time yet to be conceived, son. I already know that he is right about that, but hopefully neither us nor him will ever know a world as sad as this one.
My rating: 6.5
Total score: 12