Thursday, March 4, 2010

Survival and Morality Intertwine in The Road

Seldom do I get to watch movies that leave me speechless after watching them. John Hillcoat's "The Road" is one of the very rare films that does that.

The film is set in the not too distant future when, one day, all the world's clocks stopped at 1:17 AM. The world as we know it has come to an end. The earth is riddled by frequent tremors and has turned into a wasteland that can hardly support plants or animals; where days are grayer than the previous ones. Man has turned cannibals, hunting weaker people for food. In the center of this post-apocalyptic wasteland is an un-named man (Viggo Mortensen) and his child (Kodi Smit-McPhee) who are trying to be the "good guys" despite constant threats to their survival. In less than 70 minutes, we are treated to a spine tingling morality adventure tale that will leave you reeling with introspection.

Mortensen and Smit-McPhee deliver indelible performances that I shall not forget in a long time. In powerful cameos are Charlize Theron who's overcome with post-partum depression, Guy Pearce as another wandering father, and Robert Duvall as the old man. I have loved author Cormac McCarthy for his novel "All The Pretty Horses" which I have read 3 times. His "No Country For Old Men" was turned into an Oscar-winning Best Picture (2007) and "The Road" won the Pulitzer for fiction. It's about time I should read another Cormac McCarthy!

Or maybe New Voice Company can stage Cormac McCarthy's spare-staged "The Sunset Limited" which is really up their alley - 2 characters named "Black" (the ex-convict-cum-Christian evangelist) and "White" (the atheist professor) - on a spare apartment in New York - debating on human suffering, the propriety of suicide and the existence of God.

The world has turned into a desolate place where people hunt people for food, plants and animals cannot grow, and earthquakes jolt the earth like clockwork.

Unforgettable turns.

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