The Road goes ever on and on, down from the door where it began. Now far ahead the Road has gone, and I must follow, if I can . . . .
If this review could only be one word long then I would have to go with “bleak”. That sums up The Road but it doesn’t cover everything about it, obviously.
The tale of a father and son (Viggo Mortensen and Kodi Smit-McPhee, respectively) walking on a long, long journey in a post-apocalyptic landscape most certainly IS bleak but it’s also very well acted and feels surprisingly realistic considering the subject matter. Raising questions about the survival of the human race after such an event (and whether or not it’s possible for humans to actually find their humanity again once it has been eroded away so forcefully), it’s a thoughtful film that’s subtly disturbing in many ways.
Robert Duvall appears briefly but this is essentially a two-hander between Mortensen and Smit-McPhee (with some great acting from Charlize Theron in some intense flashback sequences) and they are fantastic as two desperate souls, struggling to hold onto their sanity and each other even as it grows increasingly tempting to detach themselves from the hardship surrounding them.
A movie that should make you appreciate what you have and remind you that living is not just about eating and breathing but certainly not something you pick to just sit back and have a good time with.
Director: John Hillcoat
Cast: Viggo Mortensen, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Robert Duvall
Runtime: 111 min