Sunday, 17 June 2012

The Road

UK Release: 8th January 2010
Watched on BBC iPlayer: Sunday 3rd June 2012
Rating: 15
Genre: Adventure, Drama, Thriller
Runtime: 1hr 51mins
Tagline: In a moment the world changed forever.
IMDb Plot Synopsis: A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind and water. It is cold enough to crack stones, and, when the snow falls it is gray. The sky is dark. Their destination is the warmer south, although they don't know what, if anything, awaits them there. They have nothing: just a pistol to defend themselves against the lawless cannibalistic bands that stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a rusting shopping cart of scavenged food--and each other.

My Review: I remember a lot of good things being said about this film a couple of years ago when it was released and so I was intrigued to watch it when I spotted it on iPlayer. And while maybe it deserves more than a 7.5 due to reasons I shall talk about in a moment it has to be, however, one of the most depressing films I’ve seen in a long time. Maybe in a ‘good’ way - if there can be a good way. 
It certainly wasn’t dull, I say that much, as the ‘man’ and ‘boy’ are out alone in this desolate land and there is a feeling of foreboding at every turn. And it properly gets scary at times but then it can also be incredibly touching. 
The occasional flashbacks to before this apocalyptic time to a happier time altogether (mostly) when Charlize Theron was the wife and mother gave the film a greater depth and sadness. For the small scenes she was in Theron was brilliant. 
Yet, it was Viggo Mortensen who carried this film. I don’t think I’ve seen such a heartbreakingly emotional performance before and he deserves all the praise he got. It was just extraordinary and as the film was essentially a character piece it needed it. Also not forgetting his co-star Kodi Smit-McPhee who played the ‘boy’ - also an exceptional performance. It was kind of worth the misery to see these two take on such challenging roles and absolutely kill it. 
The raw camera work led to a chilling atmosphere throughout and I’m not ashamed to say I was crying by the end! It’s a beautiful, beautiful film - just be ready with a box of tissues and the right frame of mind!
Score: 7.5/10

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