I was just telling my wife and some friends that it had been a long time since I’d seen a movie that really blew me away. “The Road” did exactly that. It’s the best movie I’ve seen this year, and maybe the best movie I’ve seen in a few years.
Based on the award-winning novel by Cormac McCarthy (which I haven’t read, but now I know what I’m reading during our vacation at the beach), “The Road” tells the story of a father and son traveling south in a post-apocalyptic America. What caused the global catastrophe is unknown. What the viewer learns through flashbacks is a couple is about to have a child when the apocalypse occurs. Their son never knows a “normal” American life. Nearly all life is gone. There are no animals. There are very few people. Of those left, most are cannibals. The wife leaves the family behind, without hope, knowing she will die. The father and son push south to the coast, hoping for warmer weather. Along the way, they encounter nomadic gangs of cannibals, other humans imprisoned as cattle for food, and few other people along the way.
The film (and apparently more so for the book) is emotionally devastating. The father is dying, and has no hope for humanity in spite of his determination to survive. His son still sees good in people. What struck me the most throughout the film is that no matter how bleak the situation, no matter how much suffering is involved, there is always hope. Along their journey, the father gives his son a can of Coke that he found. They share a wonderful bonding moment as the son experiences something for the first time that you and I take for granted. They find a bunker full of canned food just when all hope of finding sustenance has run thin. They make it to the coast, and the son finds refuge after the death of his father. Hope and endurance in spite of unimaginable suffering are, to me, the message of this film. I totally recommend it.
Here’s the link to the trailer.