Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Movie Review: The Road

What will the world be like when the end comes? When life as we know it ceases to exist and all we're left with is a barren wasteland and very few survivors? The Road gives us an extremely realistic vision of what's probably sure to be our future if Sarah Palin ever gets in the White House.

Based on Cormac McCarthy's bestselling novel, The Road follows the plight of a father and son as they make their way across the dead land to get to the sea. Every day is a struggle to stay alive. Cannibals roam the land, people have become even more self serving than normal and the physical toll on their bodies alone proves to be overwhelming. While the screen is filled with amazing images of destruction and isolation, at its heart, The Road is a love story. It tells the story of a father's love for his son and the lengths he will go to to protect him.

As for the film itself, I was amazed at the job accomplished by director John Hillcoat. This film looked like the end had come. The settings were just incredible. In fact, it's my opinion that the environment was the film's star. The barren woods, the ruined buildings, the rusted-out vehicles -- it was incredibly realistic, and to be quite honest, sobering. And Viggo Mortenson's portrayal of the father lends an unrelenting truth to the story being played out on screen. It was also nice to see Robert Duvall put in just an incredible performance as the old man, Eli. His time on screen was brief, but he was mesmerizing to watch.

The soundtrack for The Road was perfectly scored by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis, masters at creating moody, melancholy music that is truly a musical representation of what's happening on the screen. Their work, as usual, fits the emotion of the film perfectly and I don't think there are any other composers working today that could have done a better job with this material.

As you can probably tell, I liked The Road a lot. The only thing I really didn't care for, unfortunately, was the ending. I felt came a little too quickly and in regards to the story, I felt it didn't really fit.

The Road
is not the feel good movie of the year, but it does represent a startlingly realistic vision of what lies ahead for us if we don't get our heads out of our asses. I give The Road **** out of *****.

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