Posted by: Joe Eds | November 20, 2009

Take your dad, Take your son

The_Road_3

He sat there cowled in the blanket. After a while he looked up. Are we still the good guys? he said.
Yes. We’re still the good guys.
And we always will be.
Yes. We always will be.

Jeff and I went to an advanced screening of The Road. We have both read, and wildly love the novel that the film is based on by Cormac McCarthy. So, needless to say, it is hard to get a firm grip on the movie because I have such respect for the book. I think it is a good movie, not the masterpiece of the book. It is very faithful to the book and it’s main themes, the metaphor for “the road” we all travel in life, a story about keeping your dignity in the darkest of times and the visualization of the “dead earth” is top notch. If you have not read it, the movie is still worth watching.

The story is very simple. A father and son are on the road in a post-apocalyptic earth. The earth is dead and grey. No trees. No animals. Just some scattered humans trying to survive.  There are bad guys. Gangs who hunt people for food. This is not an escape movie, there is no “secret fortress” or “safe camp,” just them on the road staying out of danger. There are moments of horror and gore, but more is suggested then actually shown.

If you read and loved the book, but afraid to see the movie, don’t worry. There are some added ingredients and what many consider one of the book’s more shocking moments taken out, but the spirit is intact. And be rest assured, the TV spots and trailers (especially the latest one) do not represent the movie. It’s advertising, it’s exaggerating the action to get bodies in seats.

Viggo is remarkable, and I hope he gets recognition for this performance. There are very, very few speaking parts, but each actor leaves a mark. The best scene of the film hands down is when the man and the boy meet the old traveler played by Robert Duvall. It’s great to see an old pro like Duvall really deliver in a scene. Charlize Theron does have  a sizable role as the wife (all in flashbacks), much bigger than the book, but they work very well.

And to just get to the main point, this is a movie for fathers and sons. And on this upcoming turkey week if you want to take your dad or dads take your sons out to the movies, this is the one.

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