Cast: Viggo Mortensen, Charlize Theron, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Robert Duvall, Guy Pearce
Director: John Hillcoat
Based on the Novel “The Road” by Cormac McCarthy
Running time: 111 minutes (R)
“The Road” is a post-apocalyptic drama centered around the trials and tribulations of a father son duo.
The world has come to a grinding halt as a result of “apocalypse”, which is never explained in the film but generally everything is falling apart, literally and figuratively. The man and the son, whose names are never revealed throughout the movie, are making their way towards warmer climes to escape the seemingly sordid situation of a nuclear winter.
Along the way they scavenge the earth they walk on for food, shelter and clothing. Along the way they also meet a few people, half of whom have sunk into the depths of moral depravity and have resorted to a life of cannibalism for lack of other options.
The film generally isn’t gruesome or bloody but it is poignant. The man is a father who is flawed and carries a gun around with two bullets: one for his son and one for him when the time is right.
The man does die in the end, presumably from a debilitating bout of tuberculosis compounded by exhaustion, desperation and complete hopelessness. In his death he leaves the boy to fend for himself.
The complete bleakness of the film was accentuated by the dreary atmosphere and maudlin background score. This film isn’t for the faint of heart, such as myself, who would prefer comedies or generally films in a lighter vein.
Perhaps, “the stranger”, played by the generally vivacious Guy Pearce, at the end of the movie, who takes the boy in after the death of “the man” was the deus ex machina designed for people like myself who would be incited into jerking tears.
All in all, an underrated but good movie and a powerful performance by Viggo Mortensen and the youngster, Kodi Smit-McPhee, who played “the man”‘s precocious son excellently.
The name may sound funny and weird and it spills over his character too. He prefers to keep his identity secret and we respect his choice. Thanks to a moment of “what an idea, sirji” we have him on-board our panel and don’t ask me more about the idea, it is our kitchen secret but his writings are here to enthrall you.