Monday, February 15, 2010

The Road- A Nomadic Review

This weekend was an example of winter in Izmir, cold and rainy but not wicked. I can hardly complain while the rest of the country is buried under snow. Being the productive type, I spent those two days in my pajamas watching films. I will be spending the next couple of days this week, reviewing them for all my readers.
It's the end of the world as we knew it, and nobody's fine in the film "The Road." That pretty much sums up the entire plot of this film, directed by John Hillcoat and based on the novel by Cormac McCarthy. Starring Viggo Mortensen and Kodi Smit-McPhee as father and son, this film depicts what is left of the world following some kind of non-specific cataclysmic disaster (an asteroid maybe?) which has all but ended life on the planet. Cheery, huh? Well, Buddy, you ain't heard the half of it.
There really not much left for any bargain shoppers to pick over, lots of cold concrete covered in beige dust, melted plastic debris scattered about, mucky brown water and a landscape so dim and grim the film might as well have been shot in black and white. Everything is gone, the animals, the crops, the Kardasians. (There's a bright side to any calamity, I suppose.)
Along empty highways and abandoned towns, we follow the father and son as they struggle against hunger, disease and dry cold. While we are thankfully spared zombies, things are bad enough with bands of hunters turned cannibals roaming the land, trying to turn Mortensen in to a morsel and the son as a post-apocalyptic veal steak. Take my word for it, don't check the freezer in the basement unless you are ready to have a fitful night's sleep.
Adding the only bit of glamour (and color) in the film, Charlize Theron, the flashback mother/wife, pops up in dream sequences now and then. As father and son struggle to stay alive, Robert Duvall and Guy Pearce show up as walk-ons (literally) practically unrecognizable in homeless people garb. Dirty Gray is the new Black, by the way.
"The Road" is not for the mildly depressed or anybody discouraged with the present state of humanity. So, you have been warned. It is just like Mad Max, without Max, without cars, without crazy action scenes or the light-hearted antics of men with weird haircuts and spiked leather outfits. Other than that, it is just like it.
"The Road" has already won a whole shopping cart full of awards: BAFTA Film Award for cinematography, the Critic's Choice Award for Best Actor, Best Makeup (think- used motor oil and dust from the bag of a vacuum cleaner) and Young Actor Award. Although I have not read the Pulitzer Prize winning book it is based on, I have heard the adaption is remarkably accurate and nothing annoys Nomad worse than a screenplay that takes unnecessary license with an adaption. (I still grumble about the Indian dance scene in "Vanity Fair.")
It is worth viewing but probably not on a first date. It's certainly an intelligent film but needless to say perhaps, you shouldn't expect to be full of merriment and joy before the last credits roll on.
Have you seen this film? What did you think?
Tomorrow I will review the alien abduction thriller, "The Fourth Kind."

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  1. In your pyjamas because its rainy and cold.)

    Didnt watched the movie, but for sure when its on the black market of Istanbul for 3 TL.)

  2. I view cold and rainy from the inside looking out. And I rarely watch films with my raincoat and galoshes unless it is 3D.
    Come to think of it, though, it IS sadly ironic that I am sitting in the comfort of my centrally-heated apartment in the middle of winter watching a father and son brave the cold and gloom of endless winter.

  3. Btw, in the 8 years 'Turkey' I've neer been to Izmir.)

  4. I was suspicious of Vigo Moretenson, but it sounds like a fairly faithful adaptation of the book (haven't seen the film). Which was really good. And, oddly enough, Cormac McCarthy's most optimistic novel.

  5. @stranger
    He must be loads of fun at parties then.

  6. I enjoyed the book earlier last year, thanks for the movie review!


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