I had been wanting to read the book The Road by Cormac McCarthy.
Instead I just saw the movie.
The movie is about a father and son who try to make their way across a post-apocalyptic United States in hopes of finding civilization amongst the nomadic cannibal tribes. The boy was born into this world where his father was not. He is from the life you and I are familiar with.
America is in shambles. The sun seems as if it has disappeared. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind and water. It is cold enough to crack stones, and when the snow falls it is gray. The sky is dark.
Right before the Man’s wife left him outta despair for their new type of life she told him to travel south. So the father and son travel south everyday in hopes for warmer weather. However, their travels leave them with a great unknown. Their journey only gives them harsh weather, no food or safe drinking water, and people who have become cannibals.
They have nothing: just a pistol to defend themselves against the lawless cannibalistic bands that stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a rusting shopping cart of scavenged food–and each other.
The Man teaches his son everything he knows about survival and endurance and hope. His Son reminds him constantly to never lose his humanity. Both are tested each day.
What’s interesting is that you never know The Man’s or The Son’ s name. I think that has a profound effect on the story.
I can’t imagine the performances being any better from any of the actors, starting at Viggo Mortensen and working my way down to the smallest roles. I can’t imagine the bleak post-apocalyptic world being portrayed any more realistically. I can’t imagine the general feeling of sadness, desperation, hopelessness, terror and pain being captured more accurately.
You feel what the actors feels. You feel the exhaustion, the insanity of despair, the hunger pains. The story was extremely captivating. You hang on to yourself for dear life, resisting belief as best you can in the face of powerful acting, persuasive filmmaking and the perversely compelling certainty that nothing will turn out all right.
The Road is a haunting portrait of what it means to be a parent. It gives new meaning to the words, “To the end of the world”.
There are really some thought-provoking truths that are brought out in the movie as well as from The Man as he narrates the movie or is simply talking to his son. They linger in your thoughts making you question yourself on how you would handle the situation, how could you face the day knowing it could be your very last. It’s a real cold slap of mortality.
Despite the sadness and bleak of hope, I really liked this movie. It was compelling, un-nerving and very beautiful.