The book details the journey of a father and his young son over a period of several months, across a landscape blasted by an unspecified cataclysm that has destroyed most of civilization and, in the intervening years, almost all life on Earth. The book was adapted to a film of the same name in , directed by John Hillcoat. A father and his young son journey across post-apocalyptic America some years after an extinction event. The land is covered with ash and devoid of life. The boy's mother, pregnant with him at the time of the disaster, committed suicide some time before.
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It's a post-apocalyptic world, several years after whatever the cataclysmic event, which has in turn caused frequent quakes as further potential hazards.
The world is gray and getting quickly grayer as more and more things die off. A man and his pre-teen son, who was born after the apocalypse, are currently on the road, their plan to walk to the coast and head south where the man hopes there will be a more hospitable environment in which to live.
The man has taught his son that they are the "good people" who have fire in their hearts, which in combination largely means that they will not resort to cannibalism to survive. Food and fuel are for what everyone is looking. The man has taught his son to be suspect of everyone that they may meet, these strangers who, out of desperation, may not only try to Written by Huggo.
The wonderful thing about the Road is that it will more than likely please the two camps: the one that has not read Cormac McCarthy's Pulitzer prize-winning book, and the one that has. As it turns out, if you liked the book very much and worried about how its uber-bleak and incredibly dark and especially gray landscapes would appear, it provides that perfectly.
And if you haven't read the book To describe the plot is not impossible but sort of unnecessary. All you need to know going in if you're part of not-read-book camp is that a father and son, after becoming on their own after the mother of the house exits, are traveling together across a true post-apocalypse landscape to a coast.
We never are given a fully clear explanation as to why or how the apocalypse happened. This is more than fine; because John Hillcoat's film centers on the father and son called in the credits simply Father and Son, played by Viggo Mortensen and Kodi Smit-McPhee , there doesn't need to be anything really specific. At least this will be fine for most people who may be by now tired of the usual viral or religious or damn type explanations.
We're given hints though, to be sure, that there may have been mutations or some kind of earth-bound phenomenon earthquakes happen a couple of times , and past this we, like the travelers, are left to our own devices.
How it happened isn't as fascinating and visually compelling, anyway, than how it looks. The Road provides us many scenes and vistas that are precisely grim and desolate and terrible. Some of these are full of visual details like big city-scape shots, and others, like when the Father and Son are on the ramp of a highway, is intimate and hard this setting also provides one of the most touching moments as Mortensen's character finally 'lets go' of two important details from the deceased mother of his son.
And other times Hillcoat lets us just take in the gray-ness of everything, just as one could take in the sight of masses of flies in his film the Proposition. It's against this backdrop of rain and sludge and grime and decay that imbues this intense bond between the father and son so greatly, and the complexity that comes with not just staying alive but retaining humanity and dignity and doing right and wrong by the people they encounter.
This may not be news to people who read the book. I still, having read it two years ago which sadly seems like long ago in usually remembering specific images of a book , can't get the descriptions of scenes out of my head, or the stark manner of how characters talked and dread and existential horror was relayed.
But, again, the film not only respects this but gives it further life. Dialog scenes in the movie- save for a couple of the flashback scenes with Charlize Theron's Mother character- are never obtrusive to the storytelling, which is a rightful concern to have with an adaptation of the book.
And, more importantly, the acting and chemistry between the two leads is incredible. Mortensen is a given to be an actor embedded in his character, so much so that when he takes off his shirt we see his bony torso as being really that, and watching him is magnetic.
Yet it's also crucial to see how good the kid Smit-McPhee is too, especially when it comes time for scenes where the boy has to deal with his father's growing desperation or the electrifying showdown with a thief. As long as you know that this is a film centered not on big action sequences though there are a couple , and not on big special effects though there's that too , and it's more akin to a life-or-death-and-what-else story not unlike Grave of the Fireflies, you'll know what you're getting with the Road.
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Director: John Hillcoat. Added to Watchlist. From metacritic. June's Most Anticipated Streaming Titles. Kodi Smit-McPhee. I Want To See Share this Rating Title: The Road 7. Use the HTML below. You must be a registered user to use the IMDb rating plugin. Edit Cast Cast overview, first billed only: Viggo Mortensen Man Kodi Smit-McPhee Boy Robert Duvall Old Man Guy Pearce Veteran Molly Parker Motherly Woman Michael Kenneth Williams Thief Garret Dillahunt Gang Member Charlize Theron Woman Bob Jennings Bearded Man Agnes Herrmann Archer's Woman Buddy Sosthand Archer Kirk Brown Bearded Face Jack Erdie Bearded Man 2 David August Lindauer Man On Mattress Gina Preciado Learn more More Like This.
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