Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Road

I've been meaning to see The Road for quite some time now. I loved Viggo in A History of Violence and Eastern Promises as well as his older stuff like Carlito's Way. I was also greatly looking forward to seeing the next Cormac McCarthy novel adapted on screen since her previous work No Country For Old Men completely blew me away. The Road was good, but certainly didn't have as much of an effect on me as No Country did.

The Road stars Viggo Mortensen simply known as "Man". The man and his son known as "Boy" are living in a post-apocalyptic world with nothing left remaining except very few humans. Very few, and the ones who do remain are most likely savage cannibals. For this reason he has to constantly be on his guard in order to keep his son safe. We see this best displayed on screen in one particularly intense scene where him and his son approach a bridge to take a short break from walking. Soon a group of these crazed cannibals approach the area in an old souped up pick-up truck, with each of them armed with weapons and looking nasty as ever. Picture something along the lines of "human eating hillbillies from hell". What ensues is intense filmmaking and shows us just what the man is willing to do to protect his son.

It's a really quiet film as they roam the road, country side, and beach areas, scrounging for food and usable items to take with them. The cinematography is done really well in convincing the viewer that they really are living in a post-apocalyptic world, and a frightening one at that. Sometimes the most quiet moments are the scariest because when you here that first sound, it could be someone approaching and it could be your last.

Viggo was good as the father protecting his son and the way he slowly starts to unravel, health, and insanity wise was done fairly well. His movements were great too. The way he struggles with things really makes us see that he's been through a lot. In one small scene he wakes up and gets out of a truck and stretches and moans and we see that this is indeed a tired broken down man. The son could have been better casted that's for sure. I read that he got the part mainly because he looks like Charlize Theron who plays "Woman", his mother. But that's no reason to cast the little chap. Especially when the only times we see Charlize is in a darkly lit home pre-apocalypse. The score by Nick Cave was quiet and moving when it was being used. Also there are a few small almost cameo appearances by Robert Duvall and Guy Pierce who are almost unrecognizable. So I'll let you try and spot them out rather than telling you who they are.

You could definitely watch this with a group of friends and analyze it's meanings and what it's trying to get across, but I'll leave that to you all. The film just didn't really do AMAZING things for me, but it's a film I'm willing to give another shot and I will be watching it again. So that tells you something about it right there. Honestly if you haven't seen the directors previous film The Proposition, with Guy Pierce, see that first. It's brilliant. I give The Road 3 and 1/2 outa 5.