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The Road Review

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The Road


R 110 min




I’m on my way out the door in two minutes to see this one. I was almost on a 100+ mile road trip when it opened a couple weeks ago.

See I’d just finished Cormac McCarthy’s Pulitzer winning novel and just loved it.

Oh it’s no action packed thriller, not by a country mile; it’s as bleak and lacking in redemption as any of McCarthy’s novels. Still, despite the constant melancholy tone, I found it nearly impossible to put down.

I have a couple concerns from the trailers but we’ll get into that when I get back. See ya in a couple hours.

OK I’m back and thankfully my fears didn’t come to pass. I’d feared that a desire to appeal to the action film crowd may have pushed the plot away from the introspective to concentrate on the few violent episodes but it did not. There are few light moments in McCarthy’s books and no real happy endings A few years after an unexplained disaster, the world in nearly uninhabitable. No birds, animals or plant life remain and most of the remaining starving humans are deranged cannibals. They aren’t unnatural beings but have gone feral much as abandoned house pets. Imagine

The story is simply the southbound journey of, “the man” (Viggo Mortensen) and his son called only “the boy” (Kodi Smit-McPhee) in a devastated world.

This film is as faithful to the original as possible, which means we are primarily left to set the moral boundaries for ourselves. Where does good or evil come into play when survival is all that matters? How “good” is self-sacrifice? How “evil” is survival?

McCarthy lets you figure that out for yourself rather than pound you with his moral view (as Cameron did in AVATAR)

One doesn’t have time in a two-hour film to ponder these questions and that’s the bottom line.

Though it’s a nice encapsulation it falls a little bit short as a film.




Email westsidesteve@aol.com



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