Ringer Preston sends us this review of Viggo Mortensen’s ‘The Road’ – which has been in limited release since Nov 25th. Please note, spoilers ahead…
Viggo Mortensen (expect an Oscar nomination here), Charlize Theron, Robert Duvall and newcomer Kodi Smith-McPhee , along with Director John Hillcoat and Cinematographer Javier Aguirresarobe have created a masterpiece that will endure as a sincere testament to the bond a parent feels for a child, and the obligation that bond engenders.
The end of the world scenario is simple and we’ve heard it over and over, yet in The Road the now standard hyperbole is washed away by the purest of stories: survive in a world where all that once was is gone, food is scarce and the evil the conditions of this nature would breed is everywhere. Protect the boy. Travel the road toward the coast. Eat.
In the movie, as in the book, the world has experienced some sort of naturally occurring geophysical shift, and is now destroying itself. All animals and people are gone, save pockets of survivors. Essentially, as Robert Duvall’s “Old Man” says “I knew this was going to happen, there were warnings, I always felt it…not like some con, but I always felt it” underscores the biblical nuances McCarthy uses to make us understand, this was not caused by man.
Mortensen’s quest, though not an Arthurian quest for good, is to get his son south to the coast–the coast representing hope, and the quest, simply for survival. Along their journey on the road, they portray themselves as “good-guys” in a world of bad guys, but as their journey continues the realities of the stark new world begin to blur the lines between good and evil, and evil could just be a metaphor for survival. These lines, of course, fade much more quickly for some, though in the mind of a child not yet tainted by the real world, be it an apocalyptic world, or today’s world, goodness, hope and purity endure, and as the father knew, would be rewarded. I highly recommend it.