…was my first thought. But given that I quite like Viggo Mortensen and Robert Duvall. (Charlize Theron: “we salute you…scha-wing”). I thought I’d give The Road a whirl. 111 min of my life wasn’t much to ask, after all.
As a post-apocalypse movie The Road is obviously not a suitable choice for a valentines day post-candlelit-dinner flick. Not really of the feel good variety; unless you’re inspired by the human spirit’s will to survive and the paternal instinct to protect ones off-spring.
In a nutshell the tale follows a father and son’s struggle to survive after whatever disaster has befallen the Earth. They’re committed to a life on the road, the avoidance of anyone they may come across and a migration ever southward in search of less hostile surroundings.
Charlize Theron’s role is restricted to flashback scenes, where it becomes evident that she’s the boy’s mother and the man’s wife. The tale kinda unfolds in this time-split fashion and although it’s nothing new in this respect, it does work rather well. (Gives a kind of release to the present tensions).
Another thing I liked was the way the flashbacks were set in a very technicolor time, compared to the present (as far as the story’s concerned), which is very monochromatic and drab in nature, given the devastation that’s obviously occurred. Kinda struck me like The Wizard of Oz in reverse in that respect. If that makes any sense to the older viewers? ;o)
I won’t spoil the movie for you by revealing too much of the plot. Suffice to say that the climate, finding food and avoiding dog-eat-dog encounters occupy most of the plot-line/mood of this film. Given that there are limited survivors (and they’re getting fewer by the day); most of the scenes feature just the main characters themselves. Most other appearances are fleeting. (As for Robert Duvall, blink and you could miss him).
Given the limited human resources with which to spin this yarn, I must say that Mortenson (man) and Smit-McPhee (boy) carry the film extremely well. What’s most interesting for me was the boy’s struggle to understand the difference between right and wrong. Given that bad people are clearly bad, but if good people are good (like us) then why can’t we trust them?
What must it be like to be raised under such extreme circumstances? No kids to play with, no schools for education, no promise of a brighter tomorrow. (If one exists at all).
OK, on that cheery note, I guess I’d better sign off. I really did enjoy this movie (tho’ I’ll admit that enjoy is a curious choice of words). Highly recommended from my side. Go check it out.