“The Road” Takes Us On Apocalyptic Journey
Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades
As a film critic, I eruditely like to point out that society is reflected in movies. And that each decade’s films are a mirror of the times.
Take the Great Depression where Hollywood musicals offered solace to the hard times. Or the ’60s where the anti-hero flourished.
So what does it tell us about our current era, where apocalyptic movies are becoming abundant? You recently saw the end of the world as predicted by the Mayan calendar in Roland Emerish’s “2012.” And a few months ago you witnessed a post-apocalyptic world with Denzel Washington in “The Book of Eli.” And you also had an end-of-the-world fable with Dennis Quaid in “Legion.”
One might even argue the spate of zombie films signal a similar theme of the end of life as we know it. Witness Will Smith in “I Am Legend” and Rhona Mitra in “Doomsday.” Or George Romero’s “Diary of the Dead” and Danny Boyle’s “28 Days Later.” Or even the satiric “Shaun of the Dead” and “Zombieland.”
Latest entry in the post-apocalyptic fantasies of our era (“The Great Recession”) is a film titled “The Road.” You can take the journey at the Tropic Cinema, where it’s currently playing.
In it, Viggo Mortensen (“Eastern Promises,” “History of Violence”) portrays a father walking south with his son in an ash-strewn burnt-out America. With a pistol and a shopping cart filled with food and belongings, they travel through gray lands inhabited by cannibalistic bands of survivors.
Kodi Smit-McPhee (“Stranded”) plays the Boy, his father’s only companion as they follow the road toward warmer climes.
Along the way they encounter such wayfarers as the Old Man (Robert Duval), the Veteran (Guy Pearce), and the Woman (Charlize Theron).
In “The Road” this Man and Boy, like so many other characters in post-apocalyptic movies, are determined to survive at any cost.
Maybe that’s what these movies tell us about our society in these difficult economic times.
[from Solares Hill]