John Hillcoat directed The Road is based on the 2006 novel of the same name by Cormac McCarthy. The plot of the movie revolves around a father and his son in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. It is perhaps no irony that the movie hits the theatres just two weeks after the Roland Emmerich directed 2012 which talked about annihilation of the entire world. The Road talks about a world post nuclear annihilation scene taking us back to the days of the Cold War.
John Hillcoat says a lot about the story in the opening shot with images of greenery, of flowers, of sunny days but all these are in the dreams of the Man. When he wakes up he finds reality too hard to believe. John Hillcoat portrays the human race in a post nuclear annihilation through the character of the Man. The introduction of the Boy is perhaps the most interesting and symbol of hope to mankind. The Boy brings in the optimism in the otherwise pitiful world.
An unnamed father (Viggo Mortensen) and his young son (Kodi Smit-McPhee) walk alone through burned America. They struggle to survive after an unspecified apocalypse and make their way toward the coast for possible food, shelter, safety, or to potentially find other survivors of the cataclysmic events. It is cold enough to crack stones, and, when the snow falls it is gray. They have just a pistol to defend themselves against the lawless cannibalistic bands that stalk the road
Along the way, they encounter grave struggles and hardships across the barren landscapes, with scarce shelter and resources available to them, and having to avoid bands of cannibals and other desperate gangs looking to pillage valuables and food. Various flashback sequences occur where the Man remembers events prior to the catastrophe, many involving his deceased wife (Charlize Theron), who has a much more expanded role in the film than in the original book.
Viggo Mortensen amd Kodi Smit-McPhee deliver outstanding performance, Charlize Theron is good in her limited appearance in the movie. The Road can easily claim to be the grayest and brownest movie ever made. The movie is not overboard with VFX and John Hillcoat makes sure that the movies doesn't have too many loose ends. Hillcoat has certainly made worthy use of the $30 million incurred on The Road.
The Road is an awesome piece of cinema and truly great in every sense of the word. It is not outlandish like 2012 but tells the story in a more realistic way. It is not a pleasant movie but it surely makes the audience think. There is brutality in the movie but it is though provoking. The movie perhaps is a winner because it does not go the 2012 way and is a treat to watch. Its a must for all those who choose a good movie over expensive VFX.