The road to nowhere…
Cast: Viggo Mortensen, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Charlize Theron & Robert Duvall
Directed by: John Hillcoat
Screenplay by: Joe Penhall
Based on the critically acclaimed novel of the same name, The Road follows a Man and his Boy as they desperately try to survive in a post-apocalyptic world.
End of the world disaster flicks tend to either build up nicely until a happy or inconceivable ending goes and spoils it, or they just spend the entire runtime reducing cities to a pulp via lots and lots of CGI (stand up Roland Emmerich). The Road however is having none of it. Sticking very faithfully to the Cormac McCarthy Pulitzer winning novel of the same title, Director John Hillcoat’s film is a harsh, chilling and compelling vision of the future.
It’s harsh on the eyes with the burnt landscapes and cruel to the ears with abrupt dialogue; Man says to Boy “They committed suicide” after coming across some hanging bodies, the Boy asks “Why?” The Man replies “You know why” without a moments hesitation.
Depressing indeed but the central relationship of Man and Boy – we are never told their names – desperately trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic world, convinces enough to make us care for them and their journey as they seek to reach the coast. To further add to the downbeat tone, other survivors have turned to cannibalism and the Man, played sombrely by Mortensen, is slowly dying.
Undeniably The Road is a far more comfortable read because you can put the book down when ever you feel the need to. On screen though in a dark cinema with no breaks in between the harshness unfolding in front of your eyes, it is not an easy watch. But stick with it because what unfolds is a refreshing take on the genre that actually sticks to its guns all the way to the end credits.