As the film begins everything is idyllic. The scenery, the soundscape, even the characters look as if they are living in a garden of eden. Then the sounds change, the lights go out and the Man gets up to fill the bathtub with water. The world will never be the same. In a post-apocalyptic tale such as "The Road" one can only sit in silence, watching and waiting, hoping and dreaming, that something somewhere good will appear. That hope still exists in a world taken over by fire, dust, debris, and cannibalism. It is a visual portrait of the end of the world and one man's fight for survival. Not purely for himself, as he is unselfish in his desires, but for his son. A son born into a crumbling world. As the Mother character states, "What kind of world is this to be born into", you as a viewer can only agree. It is this world that creates an incredibly touching film that will not only satisfy but touch you on the deepest most sacred levels.
Drawing much of its content/dialogue from the novel, The Road
by Cormac McCarthy, the screenplay is simple yet incredibly refined. You will not find any long monologues or heavily drawn out diatribes on life and the meaning of existence. Here is a screenplay full of the essentials, the ability to survive and the love of a father and son. It shows the differences between a man who has known all the world had to offer and a boy who only knows a dark, desolate existence where food is scarce and life itself may end at any moment. The journey the screenplay takes you on is one full of emotion for the plain and simple fact that you are watching a father and son trying to survive the unsurvivable. It will move you in ways you could not imagine while reawakening inside you the respect we should have for the gift of our charmed lives.
The only negative criticism towards the screenplay comes at the end of the film. It is a dramatized and contrived ending that is different from the novel itself. The final scene gives you the cookie cutter hollywood ending that is at times expected but not always welcome, especially when dealing with an adaptation. For those who have not read the book and welcome a tightly knit ending where there are no loose ends to debate or unanswered questions you as the viewer must interpret it will satisfy. For someone who is going in expecting a pure and true to form adaptation you may find yourself angered at what has been done. All in all it is a masterful screenplay in its remarkable simplicity even if it has taken questionable liberties with the ending.
Here we have a magnificent score. Whether emphasizing the solitude, or the horror, the suspense and danger, even the melancholy existence of the Man and Boy the music resonates deeply into your emotional core. Mix the music with the rumbling sounds of the Earth as it deteriorates; so loud in your ears not for the fact that it is loud but merely because there is no other sound. You will find no ambient noise in this film. There are no cars rushing by, no people chattering, not even the familiar hum of a refrigerator in the background or the tapping of feet on the sidewalk. The world has gone silent, and when it awakens from this silent slumber it is amplified, frightful, and unforgiving.
Science Fiction, Apocalyptic, Action and Adventure, Thriller
November 25, 2009
1 hour 59 minutes