By Sean Harris ’11
Realistically what would happen in a post-apocalyptic world?
Would humanity try to repopulate the Earth? Or would it slowly dissolve into on a desolate void?
The new Cormac McCarthy adaptation, “The Road”, imagines a post-apocalyptic world that might be the closest to the truth. Although this realism is often times disturbing and depressing to watch; it creates a dystopian world truly unforgettable.
“The Road” follows two characters, “the Man” (Viggo Mortensen) and “the Boy” (Kodi Smit-McPhee) trying to survive after an unexplained event has thrown off the balance of the world with no hope of it ever being regained.
The forests are dying and humans are forced to resort to cannibalism as refugees wander an empty world. The Man tries to get the Boy to the coast as a last hope for at least temporary survival; but he knows he is dying and hopes to pass on his knowledge to the Boy before he dies.
The movie will not reach a big crowd simply for the fact that it breaks conventional rules; there is no grand climatic battle, practically no major events take place in the film and even to some extent, not even a happy ending.
It is also a very tough movie to watch; any movie where a father teaches his son how to commit suicide is going to be a depressing film.
Despite the unusual choices it makes, “The Road” is a very well made movie boasting solid performances and a great atmosphere.
The destroyed world really takes center stage here; the atmosphere created is eerie as the Man and the Boy travel from abandoned highways to empty homes occasionally encountering gangs of cannibals.
All of this creates a rather bleak and uncompromising view of a dead planet that is all spectacularly filmed and brought to life.
Mortensen gives a great performance as the Man; a father who will do anything to ensure the survival of his son. Mortensen plays the character with a sense of vulnerability, only being strong when he needs to be.
Smit-McPhee is slightly annoying as the Boy, constantly asking his dad questions about the same things throughout the movie. Still, he is better than most child actors today.
However difficult a movie it is to watch, “The Road” is certainly an amazing tale of the end of the world, and of those who were left behind.
5 out of 5 horseshoes.