22 February 2011

Movies: The Road

The Road http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0898367/
A drama following a man and his young son as they try to survive in a post-apocalyptic world. A world where resources are scarce and some folks have succumbed to cannibalism to survive.
Stars: Viggo Mortensen (Aragorn-Lord of the Rings), Charlize Theron (eye candy with talent), Guy Pearce (Memento), Robert Duvall (Boo Radley)
Based on the book by Cormac McCarthy - the writer of "No Country for Old Men".

Not the usual post-apocalyptic movie that's gone all Mad Max or Will Smith, full of action and beyond-belief bad guys and such. This is a very character-centric relationship drama set in a post apocalyptic world that just seems a little more realistic - dirty, dark, foreboding, deteriorating. There is no knowing how to discern friend or foe on sight. The line between 'bad' and 'good' is blurry, moves around, and depends a lot on one's perspective. It's a story about choices and consequences.

The first half hour of the movie really packs in a whole lot of story establishing when and where the movie takes place, and when and where it originates - so much so that when I saw only half an hour had elapsed I was a little worried - worried that the sudden slow-down in pace was going to be the movie from then on. Thankfully I was mistaken. I soon forgot to watch the elapsed time and just enjoyed the flick.

Yes it can be a little slowly paced in some parts, but then it picks right back up. Still, it isn't a brightly lit excitement-action-fest like Road Warrior, isn't a clean city with special-effects-fest like I Am Legend. This world is filthy, dark and dangerous and the future seems hopeless and dire - just like a good post-apocalyptic world should seem. I appreciate the movie's subtleties in visual storytelling. Great job on sets and costuming. Decent job on showing things vs. explaining them, for the most part that is. The use of voice-over narration in a flick is risky and almost became a point of contention for me - not that it was overabundant or anything - but just that it had narration at all in light of the movie as a whole.

If you need lots of action-adventure to float your entertainment-value boat this probably won't do it. This has a couple of scenes that do venture into the thriller territory, and if a couple scenes is all you need, even better. 

I liked the movie, just be prepared for a more sit-and-thinkaboutit type of flick as opposed to a sit back and let the movie happen on your face type of flick.

Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hbLgszfXTAY
One thing about this trailer - it shows clips of things that don't exactly happen in the movie. So ignore the tornadoes, volcanoes, avalanche, civil unrest and shit - this ain't that crapfest movie 2012 and I dunno why they even tried to draw that parallel.

(original post 21 July 2010)

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