Science fiction and fantasy
directed by John Hillcoat
This isn't an entirely convincing post-apocalyptic scenario. It seems unlikely that so many people would survive a disaster that's been so uniformly devastating to other forms of life. However The Road isn't all about providing a realistic explanation for one possible way civilisation might meet its end. It's more concerned with the way people cope with despair when they face the bleak situation of the prospect of starvation.
Father and son trek across America, heading south in the hope of reaching the coast. But starving people have started to turn on each other, so the two of them need to be very careful. At the start of the story they have a gun, but only two bullets for defending themselves from robbers or cannibals. But will they need to use those bullets on themselves instead?
Throughout the movie there are flashbacks to the time when the boy's mother (Charlize Theron) was still around. Those times were sometimes happier, but now the father has the added burden of what he has lost, although the boy has no memories of the way the world used to be.
The Road isn't a cheery movie by any means. It's an exploration of hopelessness, full of people who have lost almost everything. There are some graphic scenes of violence and death. Yet it's not quite as grim as that description suggests. Both Viggo Mortensen and Kodi Smit-McPhee put in intense performances, and the relationship between these characters brightens the movie up.
Although there are a few horrific and bloody action scenes, on the whole this is a slow-paced story rather than an all-action frightfest. The drawn-out pace adds to the tension, as well as giving us time to get to know the central characters thoroughly. As a result this film can be deeply moving. It may not be the kind of thing you'd want to watch when you're feeling low, but if you're in the mood for an emotional and thoughtful experience it's spot on.
8th June 2010
If you like this, try:Mad Max: Fury Road by George Miller
Max is embroiled in a wild road trip through a post-apocalyptic desert, in search of redemption and freedom.
Pure by Julianna Baggott
When the Detonations hit, those unprotected were left with horrifying mutations. The Pure inside the Dome were the lucky few. But is anyone safe and untainted in this post-apocalyptic world?
Blindness by Fernando Meirelles
One woman struggles to protect those close to her as an epidemic of blindness sweeps through the population.