Many films lately have tackled the post apocalyptic subject, but few have created such a realistic look as “The Road” has.
Viggo Mortenson is the father who must protect and feed his young son, in a world that has been shattered by a devastating disaster. Some survivors have turned cannibalistic and others are like Mortensen, just trying to stay alive.
Thats the plot really in its entirety, and although the movie does have flashbacks to when Mortensen and his wife,( played by Charlize Theron) first had their son, the movie is all about a father and son relationship and their journey through a desolated world. The movie looks amazing, show cases decaying forests and earth quake ridden landscapes. Each member of the cast looks like they havent eaten or bathed right in years, which is a compliments to the film.
Performance wise, Mortensen is truly remarkable in the lead and we see his hope and his strength slowly die away as he fights to keep his son safe. Mortensen aint no action hero like Denzel (in “The Book of Eli”), he’s playing a desperate father who is putting his son’s health and safety before his own. We also see his paranoia around other survivors, as he doesn’t trust other humans (which is understandable) because of the fact that some have human flesh on their dinner menu. The son played by young actor Kodi Smit-McPhee, creates a very convincing and engaging relationship with Mortensen. Supporting cast members like Robert Duvall and Guy Pearse lend intriguing scenes that lift the movie.
The film’s problem lies in its payoff and its overall direction. The movie is dark and depressing from the start and it never really goes anywhere else in terms of atmosphere from start to finish. It starts of with murder and depression and it doesn’t get better by the end. But the film does successfully show the strength of human beings, in times of poverty and darkness, even if it doesnt show these humans achieve much triumph, but then again, a clichéd hollywood ending isn’t needed either. Overall the movie in well acted and has an interesting and gripping premise but it doesn’t amount too much or leave you with much to think about, when it’s all said and done.