The Road

November 30, 2009 by  
Filed under CineStrays

Starring: Viggo Mortensen, Kodi Smith-McPhee, Charlize Theron
Directed by: John Hillcoat (“The Proposition”)
Written by: Joe Penhall (“Enduring Love”)

Man is left to fend for himself in the excessively bleak and beautifully shot film “The Road.” Adapted from a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Cormac McCarthy (the same author who gave us 2007’s Academy Award Best Picture winner “No Country for Old Men”), “The Road” stars Oscar-nominee Viggo Mortensen (“Eastern Promises”) as a father who is trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic world with his son (Kodie Smith-McPhee). The film follows the two traveling south towards the coast and avoiding anyone they see out of fear for their safety. Since food is scarce everywhere, many people have resorted to cannibalism. While the narrative leaves more to be desired, director John Hillcoat and cinematographer Javier Aguirresarobe create a devastatingly miserable atmosphere that can’t be shaken. Along with the gray palette and brilliant performance by Mortensen and McPhee, “The Road” may not be one many in the mainstream will want to travel, but there is a daunting strangeness that could reel some of the more curious cineastes who have a yearning for something truly disheartening.