Friday, January 1, 2010


#10 - The Road

I started reading The Road several months back. In an attempt to make the future apocalypse more chaotic, author Cormac McCarthy does away with several conventions of grammar. For example, there is rarely any punctuation beyond periods, and never quotation marks. Things like that always feel like a gimmick to me, so it took me some time to get into it (in addition to my Reader's Block).

Once I made it to about the halfway point, I breezed through the rest of the book in a few hours. It's a deeply emotional book about these two characters. I feel like the ending for the father (who is unnamed) reaches the most logical and satisfying conclusion that it can. I'm not as convinced about the ending for the son (also unnamed), but it's really the father's story.

While watching the movie, I was forced to compare it with the book. I thought it was as faithful as it really could be, with one exception. Minor spoiler here: I felt that in the book, the material on the beach was the most emotional. This was especially true of the scene when they shoot off the flare gun like a firework. Most of this was cut from the movie.

After watching previews, I was worried that they were going to use the flashbacks too often. While they did show more than the book, I thought this was an improvement over the book. They certainly didn't show too much.

Viggo Mortensen was the best choice for the father. The father needs to show sadness, but hope when talking to his son. He did a great job in juggling those responsibilities.

There are some amazing shots in this movie when they show the desolate landscapes. I sometimes had to stop for a moment to remind myself that it doesn't really exist anywhere, so this has to be a special effect, either a CGI or matte painting. I've read a few people state that it's the most realistic vision of an apocalyptic future seen in movies. I don't know about that, as the circumstances of the despair (which aren't explained here) make a difference. But it does seem like a realistic possible future.

1 comment:

Andrew Nolan said...

Ok, I'll bite. What the hell does "Kumi" mean? I assumed it meant "10," but the only translation I can find for it is "group."