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Marco Antonio Aguirre,
A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind and water. It is cold enough to crack stones, and, when the snow falls it is gray. The sky is dark. Their destination is the warmer south, although they don't know what, if anything, awaits them there. They have nothing: just a pistol to defend themselves against the lawless cannibalistic bands that stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a rusting shopping cart of scavenged food--and each other. Written by
Whenever it was a sunny day, the FX technicians had to use CGI to make it look cloudy, because director John Hillcoat wanted to maintain a desolate atmosphere. See more »
The pistol the man carries with the boy (supposedly the same from his home) is a small caliber revolver. The pistol that the man and woman 'talk' over and even show the last 2 bullets is a large caliber revolver. This is clearly visible in each situation when the barrel is visible. See more »
vm's character in this film really cheesed me off.
instead of teaching his son how to survive in this environment, at every turn he shielded him from the harshest lessons he would need to stay alive--like reading the signs cannibals leave, or letting him see what would happen if he was caught, and teaching how to commit suicide instead of learning to kill. and he did that, i suppose, because he was trying to protect him emotionally instead of physically.
now i know most of you reading this will be offended, but that's because a modern-day, middle-class mentality and morality won't transfer to this inevitable future time.
the child was born into this future, and it is the only reality he knows. now, most Americans believe that children will be emotionally wrecked if faced with death, but a few years ago the bbc ran a reality show where several families were put on an island and forced to live in a self-sufficient manner. when it came time to slaughter one of their small flock of sheep, the parents had a long discussion about how this would traumatize the children. when they were told that one of the sheep would be put under the knife so they could have meat to eat, the children's reaction was one of excitement--they wanted meat.
children are highly adaptive, and when they are brought up in a post-apocalyptic world, then that is their norm. the child's present day morality did not ring true. now, i understand why the author needed a character of this type. the child is a stand-in for the reader, who is shocked by the brutality in his environment. but he is the wrong character to put this load on. this point ruined the movie for me. if there had been another character, one who had been alive in the old time and was kept alive by vm, then i would have bought into the premise. it was a huge hole in the plot line.
the character neither deserved redemption, nor saving. but he and his boy received both.
i think the story would have been far better if the boy had gone native, and vm had been appalled at what this dying world had made of his son, and he longing for the old time to come back to heal the boy. but this would have been a less sympathetic story, and it wouldn't have sold many books, and it wouldn't be a big Hollywood movie starring vm and robert duvall. but it would have been more truthful and less wishful. why sugar coat an apocalypse?
and if vm is looking for an Oscar nomination, then he shouldn't use the old 80's surety and lose thirty pounds for a role; instead he should do what most of the Hollywood heavy hitters have learned to do, and this plays all the way from the golden boy's beginning through the contemporary: play a defective, be the lead in a holocaust movie, or the most recent, contemporary "sean penn" guarantee--kiss a boy.
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