The Road: A Movie Review…

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Date: October 31, 2010

…The Road…

…The Road…

In 2009, “The Road” was released and in theaters. I, however, did not discover this movie, until earlier this year…when I saw it on a display shelf, in a department store. It instantly intrigued me, and I sensed it was fully worth watching…but, I was not willing to pay out the cash at that moment…and several other instances, there after.

I finally got a copy of it the other day, and within 24 hours I watched it…

…Wow…

Every performance in this movie, is amazing…

…and I am officially a Kodi Smit-McPhee fan, now…What a way to make your movie acting debut…I am very impressed.

Viggo Mortensen, Robert Duvall…everyone in this movie gives a perfect performance.

This movie, is incredibly somber…the sky [and world] is gray…leaving so many of the scenes to be experienced, in the same color…

The world has suffered some type of unspecified, cataclysmic devastation…It could have been nuclear war…a massive meteor striking the planet…some eruption, from within the planet…The implication from the landscape, is that fire was somehow involved…and the planet is now overwhelmingly barren.

In this world, we find the story of a father and son, who are trying to survive…and making their way across America…going south…

The way Mortensen and Smit-McPhee are captured by the camera interacting…you just don’t see this depth of intimacy, emotion and raw dedication in any typical movie…

…Yet, this story is very dark and despairing…with some nice flashbacks…and a few “live” moments of joy and beauty, to break up the horrible things surrounding them. For example…the two have run out of food. They are starving, and not sure how much longer they can go on…when they finally stumble across an underground bunker, stocked with a lot of food…and we get to see the two interact, in a number of intimate ways…where they are happy, and naturally father and son.

Various things about this movie are not fully explained…like the timeline…We get to see the boys mother, in flashbacks…including her giving birth to him, and raising him to about the age he is in the rest of the movie…and, obviously, the three of them did manage to sustain themselves in their home, for what must have been around a decade…but, was the boy born before the world began to die…or did he grow several years, before this devastation? Clearly, he has little [or no] concept of various, normal things within the American culture…which is also alluded to, in a number of scenes…One, he is being given a bath, and apparently introduced to shampoo…In another, he is given an old can of Coke [Coca Cola], to experience for the first time…and there is at least one other reference, also.

I don’t want to say to much about the plot…because, well…the plot is shallow…but the true power in this movie, is the father son connection…and their navigation through a world, where humanity has fallen apart…and gangs of people have taken up cannibalism…and it is about simple survival. They spend most of this movie exploring, running into various things…and running for their lives…

This is a very human movie…and what struck me hardest…is the sobering, even gut wrenching, realness of it…

In some ways, I almost felt the same shock that I had, when I first watched the original Leatherface movie [less the extreme gore, of course]…No matter how bizarre that movie was, it was still created in a very believable manner…and the terrifying consequences of the situation, you could feel them…as if you were honestly watching it take place.

Some of the scenes in this movie are hard to watch…

A hand gun comes into play, several times over…every time, in reference to suicide…and the boy is always involved, even if only implied. They are down to two bullets, and those are reserved for the two of them…in the event that they are trapped and about to be killed…the first for the son, and the second for the father…who wants to spare his son, from a torturous death.

Viggo holds that gun to Kodi’s head, in no less than two different scenes…as they hide from a danger they cannot fight, hoping they are not discovered…This level of acting, is something that lesser actors simply cannot pull off…and these horribly heartbreaking scenes, really bond you to these characters.

I’ve never seen a movie quite like this one…and if you can take seeing a young boy going through all of this, then you will witness a display of superb acting.

This is a movie, which will haunt your mind for some time after you’ve watched it.

I give “The Road”, very high recommendations…and hope that Kodi Smit-McPhee, has a long, bright future ahead of him.

On a side note, I am very disappointed to find out that Kodi is starring in “Let Me In” [a remake of “Let The Right One In”], and it has already been released…early this month…I was looking forward to seeing this one, in the theater…Maybe, I can still catch it at one of the larger theaters…

Obviously, it scampered through my local theater, while I was not paying attention.

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