Friday, January 15, 2010

Movie Review - The Road

When I went to see this movie with 2 of my friends, their first reaction was to say how depressing this movie was, to which I strongly disagree. This movie is NOT depressing. It is very sad, very bleak and at times quite dark, but it is not depressing. The reason this movie is not depressing is because of two simple things: love and hope. Love, because that is the one thing holding the father and son (hereafter referred to as the Man and the Boy) together as they travel through a gray, dead and violent world. Hope, because that is what continues to push the Man and the Boy along the Road when their journey seems all but doomed.

Directed by John Hillcoat, (who also directed the brilliant "The Proposition,") starring Viggo Mortensen and with music by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis (who did the music for The Proposition and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford), this film met and exceeded all my expectations, and in my opinion surpassed the book in conveying the emotions felt by the Man and the Boy on their long, lonely and dangerous journey.

Bleak, gray, lifeless landscapes dominate the film; there is next to no color, cheer or happiness to be found here. Violent and cannibalistic bands of marauders roam at will, and this is made extremely clear in one eerie and disturbing sequence in which the Man and Boy narrowly escape from one such bands house. Not all the film is so dark though, and one particularly moving scene where the Man and Boy find a large cache of food and blankets brought a tear to my eye. I've seen very few scenes which have that level of love and emotion portrayed so well.

The cinematography is simple, yet very effective. Wide and evocative shots reminiscent of The Proposition sneak in on occasion, but for the most part simplicity reigns, and reigns well. Every single shot is well thought and has a purpose; there's no filler shots here.

Music is absolutely brilliant and the high point of the movie, with very delicate piano dominating. From very sad and somber to more lighthearted to almost bluesy, Nick Cave and Warren Ellis pull off another perfect scoring job. Rarely have I heard a score that so perfectly conveys the emotions that the characters are going through; I cannot praise the music here enough.

The Road is one of the best movies I have seen in a long, long time, and I'll be sorely disappointed if it isn't up for a Best Picture or Best Director award at the Oscars. I highly, highly recommend this movie; by far one of the most moving pictures to be released in some time.


  1. Such an amazing movie. Hadn't been more excited about a movie in a long time. The book is definitely one of my favorites.

  2. The book was good, but not as good as the hype surrounding it, in my onion. I actually think the movie was much better than the book in terms of conveying the emotion felt by the Man and Boy; thats mostly because of the music I think.