It's a post-apocalyptic world, several years after whatever the cataclysmic event, which has in turn caused frequent quakes as further potential hazards. The world is gray and getting quickly grayer as more and more things die off. A man and his pre-teen son, who was born after the apocalypse, are currently on the road, their plan to walk to the coast and head south where the man hopes there will be a more hospitable environment in which to live. The man has taught his son that they are the "good people" who have fire in their hearts, which in combination largely means that they will not resort to cannibalism to survive. The man owns a pistol with two bullets remaining, which he will use for murder/suicide of him and his son if he feels that that is a better fate for them than life in the alternative. Food and fuel are for what everyone is looking. The man has taught his son to be suspect of everyone that they may meet, these strangers who, out of desperation, may not only try to ...Written by
The cause of the global catastrophe is never specified. While the book and the film strongly hint at two explanations (a worldwide nuclear war or a massive strike on the Earth by spaceborne objects), the filmmakers did not want to make the film about the characters' blame, or lack thereof, for the situation, and kept the focus on how Man and Boy would try to survive in the post-apocalyptic settings. See more »
A disposable Bic-type lighter cannot be used as a candle the way the Man does on multiple occasions. Within about 30 seconds, the metal would heat up enough to melt the plastic and possibly cause a painful accident. See more »
Faithful adaptation that still offers something new
Just got back from seeing THE ROAD.
I had been very impressed by the novel and was concerned about how it would be adapted. The tone of the novel is almost unremittingly bleak and a 100% faithful adaptation would be very difficult to watch.
I'm happy to report that the film is very good indeed. It solves the problem of being unendurably depressing by concentrating on the emotional impact of the unspecified Armageddon, rather than the day to day fight for food, shelter and so on. So while at times it remains very upsetting it is shot through with hope rather than despair. I always felt the end of the novel was somewhat out of kilter with the rest of it but in the film it seems quite appropriate.
I think the film is more about the collapse of civility rather than civilization: for a film that shows the last remnants of mankind struggling to eke out an existence it is remarkably concerned with relationships. That's probably why the exact cause of the catastrophe is left blank: the film isn't really about the end of the world so much as the end of society. It's an interesting companion piece to NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN in which an ageing man sees nothing but horror in the modern world. In THE ROAD a man convinces himself, for the sake of his son, that humanity will abide even in the face of appalling conditions.
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