Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Road

I've been looking forward to seeing the road after reading the Cormac McCarthy novel. Okay--maybe "looking forward" isn't quite accurate. Like the book, the movie is grim and grueling and consistent in its unrelenting misery.

The film manages to capture the post-apocalyptic world where humans struggle to live from one day to the next and humanity is in short supply. The story about a man and his son stars Viggo Mortensen at his most grimy and grizzled. Mortensen looks less like Aragorn and a whole lot like Michael Douglas after a month-long bender, so if you're going to swoon over Mr. Heart-throb you're bound to be disappointed.

While the movie mainly stays faithful to McCarthy's novel, it doesn't quite capture the stark and beautiful desolation in his prose. I can't quite put my finger on what was missing, but I feel that while both Mortensen's and Kodi Smit-McPhee gave nice performances, the feeling of the father-son bond which was so strong in the book was somewhat lacking in the film.

Still, the film manages to convey the bleak existence--the chill, the fear, the weariness. But while the book made me want to stock up for a possible global disaster, the film just made me want to take a long, warm shower. With plenty of soap.

Yet another entry into the "good, not great" category...


  1. You know how I love this book, and the trailer didn't have me sold. I was worried they wrote too much of the mom into the story and that they explained too much of what happened to get them to that point. I still will have to see it just because I can't not see it... Plus, I think Viggo will be really good.

  2. I was worried about Theron's role in the story as well--and while there is a bit more back story than in the book, it's only a small sliver. You still have no real idea what happened to cause the global holocaust.

  3. Hmm..My review was a bit more enthusiastic but maybe I was swayed by the fact that Viggo was in the theatre. I actually have to say it was one adaptation of a book that I actully l iked but I understand what you meant. I just don't think prose like that can truly translate.