The Road - where was the journey?
I had tried to read the book but never got beyond the first few pages, unable to invest the emotion whilst also trying to write and research. Such books as Cormac McCarthy writes deserve that investment at the very least. So I eagerly awaited a condensed hit in the form of the film, directed by John Hillcoat. A friend in the States saw it towards the end of last year and didn't give too much away except to say it was 'bleak'. Far from putting me off this only encouraged me. So as soon as it came on at my local Everyman my friend and I booked seats. I actually wanted to walk out halfway through but thought it would be a little rude for my friend. It was only afterwards, during a telephone conversation the next day, that I learned she had also wanted to walk out. What went wrong? The question should be, what went right? Was it the appearance of the 'good' family to take care of the now fatherless child at the end of the film - 'good' because the parents had not yet eaten their own children AND they had a lassie type dog with a shiny coat as their pet? What I felt most angry about was the feeling that the film was dictating to me what I should be feeling - this was enabled by the soundtrack, by Nick Cave of all people (one would expect more from him - not some hokie Disneyfied score). And then there was the wheeling on of Robert Duvall as the ultimate cliche - the blind, wise old man! My arse! This film is divided into those who are good and those who are bad. Using the same black and white thinking for my review I would have to say the film was 'bad', in fact, worse than bad - just too damn 'hokie'! Here's what the film critics have to say: Rollling Stone Time Out, Hollywood Reporter, The Guardian, and here, The Times, and The LA Times.