Friday, December 11, 2009

A Lighter Shade of Bleak

'The Road' is a bleak but very rich experience; it is taken from Cormac McCarthy's post-apocalyptic novel, which I one day hope to read.

The earth has become a cold, grey landscape of abandoned civilization, devoid of plant and animal life, the sky ever shrouded in thick, dark clouds. The few surviving humans prowl in search of remnant food, many resort to violence and cannibalism.

In this stark, harsh world we tracks a father and a son who try to survive and hang on to their humanity, as they head south and toward the coast, looking for warmth, both material and human.

Two things make this film special: the indelible, poignant performances of Viggo Mortensen and Kodi Smit-McPhee as the father and son, and the brilliant cinematography and art direction that makes this world palpable and familiar. We've all seen abandoned places, and how the elements and chaos reclaim cleanliness, order, and other traces of civilization.

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