Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Road (film adaptation)

I read The Road a couple of years ago, while being a full-time nanny to my niece and therefore needing hope in something like the apocalypse to get myself through the day.  Kidding!  (Kind of.)  At that time, I had only kind of heard of it and mostly picked it up on a whim.  I proceeded to spend the next two-three days completely absorbed in it, reading it at every opportunity, until I was done.  Needless to say, I loved it.  It was so absorbing and incredible and I don't know what else to say because let's face it, writing a book review four (four?!) years after the fact is a pointless waste of time.

Enter the movie.  I'm a little late on this, I know, but Netflix just delivered it last weekend so what can I say?  I am morally opposed to paying theatre prices (yes, I know I saw Black Swan last week but we had free tickets thanks to hard-earned credit card rewards).

I thought it was bleak, in an oh-my-god-why-is-it-so-unredeemingly-dismal kind of way.  It was quite true to the book, as far as I remember it, except without all those words and imagery to get in the way.  Instead, it was just one gray, depressing image after another that had me wondering why humans seek the kind of entertainment that we do.  Most of it doesn't make us happy after all.  The conclusion I came to was that we like to feel, feel strongly, and that is what this movie does.  It filled me with disgust, horror, revulsion, sadness, empathy.  And I guess it was good, at least as far as book-to-film adaptations go.  My big issue with it was that it seemed like it was just a spectacle of horrors.  I saw little to no character development (the man thinks with his head, the child thinks with his heart, and both are true to these characteristics to the very end).  It was just bad thing, bad thing, bad thing, oh wait a good thing but that's only because an even worse thing is coming, bad thing, and Viggo Mortensen's naked ass.  Powerful in it's own right, but not broad enough.  I think the words really make a difference in this kind of story because more than bleakness exists in even the bleakest of written thoughts, whereas the image of dead trees covered in gray ash under a gray sky are little more than that.

It was worth my time, but I'm glad I didn't waste my Discover rewards on it.

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