Finally went and saw ‘The Road’ yesterday and, unsurprisingly, it was as unfocussed and incoherent as the book. I see some folks in the blogosphere saying this movie is terrible in regards to the way the main characters try to survive. You know, that’s absolutely true except that this isn’t a movie about survival..or preparedness..or even father/son relationships. The movie certainly has a message, although I haven’t figured it out…but the post-apocalyptic setting is just stage dressing to deliver the message. The setting is just more symbolism for the metaphors that are being shown. So what is the movie really about? I have no clue. It isn’t about survival, that’s pretty obvious. It isn’t about relationships..at least, not the obvious father/son relationship. Is it about good versus evil? Meh…not really sure on that score. I think it may be a movie about the ‘nature of man’ versus the ‘nature of hope’. Really, its far more brainpower than I was planning on devoting to this movie.
If you read the book there’s really no need to see the movie. The book is, of course, better (which is a subjective term in this case) because you have a better understanding of whats going on in the characters head. Otherwise, skip the movie and, if you can, skip the book.
Speaking of movies, I did go see ‘The Book Of Eli’ last week. A bit more of what you expect in a post-apocalyptic action movie. A cross between Mad Max and Waterworld. For me the only nit to pick was the heavy religious message but you gotta take the good with the bad, I suppose.
Both movies do have one thing in common, they both portray a disaster that created an extremely prolonged time of crisis. ‘The Road’ takes place ten years after the end of the world and ‘Eli’ takes place almost thirty years after. In both movies society has, apparently, made almost zero progress in re-establishing itself into anything more cohesive and functioning than Bartertown in Mad Max.
While I can believe that there’s the possibility of huge catastrophic end-of-the-world scenarios actually occurring, I have a hard time believing that much of anything will happen that will put such a global whammy on the planet that decades later we’re still wearing plastic bags on our feet and eating cockroaches. Are there events that make that sort of thing possible? Maybe…a ‘Lucifers Hammer’ type of disaster, perhaps. The asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs, maybe. But something that drops humanity into the stone age for a few decades before it can have electricity and antibiotics again? That would take some serious damage.