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A Man and A Boy, his son, walk the road, pushing an old wrecked supermarket trolley. All their belongings are in there. There is nothing but them and the Road. The aim is to reach the Sea, but why? There may be hope. Where there are, there is none. The world has been destroyed. There is no more life, no vegetation, no food, no humanity. Just a few survivors of whatever catastrophe came upon them. The suicides are of the past – today, it is only an exit route if you get caught by the cannibals and breeders.

I have certainly read no bleaker book in the last decade than Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. What can you do with this material that defies all hope? You can only try to catch the atmosphere of movement, of vacated minds and restlessness, of vagueness in ambition. The film cannot match the book’s bleakness, because you can imagine so much more despair than you can show. But director John Hillcoat and DP Javier Aguirresarobe go at great pains to convey the feeling of a burnt world, and of apocalyptic normality. It is one of the cases where I do not really see the need for a film, because there are so few elements the film can use to transcend the book, but as a isolated piece of art, the movie has a stunning beauty, designed around the brilliant actors Viggo Mortensen and Kodi SmitMcPhee. The boy is a nice surprise, as he is restrained, controlled, but not cool. He has the ability of his age to still be awed, or scared, or terrified – but to pack these sentiments into the cage of a boy who has spent his life on the road trying to survive.

2 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] The Road […]

  2. […] for building a movie world on them, and the world I would have liked to see is rather the world of “The Road” than the one of “Fifth Element”. Slick… I think that is the thing that I dislike about these […]

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