Saturday, July 03, 2010

The Road

It's the Apocalypse. We don't know why, but our planet is in a death spiral. All the birds and animals are gone. Plants are sparse. For those humans left on this earth-as-hell, food is the main priority.

There's one other priority, of course: survival. The story in The Road centers on a man - who is unnamed (played by Viggo Mortensen) - who is trying to stay alive long enough to teach his young son (played by Kodi Smit-McPhee) how to survive in this new wilderness, with a code of ethics intact. They stay on The Road south which will supposedly take them towards warmer weather and a better chance for hope, in the meantime watching out for marauders who aren't burdened with a sense of what's right.

The movie is dark, to be sure, but sure could have been a lot darker. There is some talk of cannibalism, and you feel the threat, but you never see it. There are certainly circumstances that would give a young boy nightmares, and in this case, older men. The entire movie is filmed not in a gray, but sort of in a brown, sepia tone. The cinematography is amazing as the landscape becomes another main character.

There are some flashbacks to fill in a few gaps, not many. Charlize Theron plays the wife and mother, and you see why she's later not in the picture.

The question here is, how do you remain human under such circumstances? What would you do to survive? The Road asks these questions eloquently and with ominous chords.

Thumb's up.


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