Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Road

I loved, loved, loved this book. When I heard it was being made into a movie, I was troubled: Hollywood has a tendency to take things and make them flashier, more upbeat. I thought about the book, with its unrelentingly oppressive, blasted landscape, the almost exclusive focus on the simple, powerful relationship between a father and his son (a son who was an actual boy, a child, not some precocious scene-stealing smartass). A book with no sex and no definitive happy ending. I doubted Hollywood could leave it as it was.

I was wrong. Hollywood did a great job with it. As with the book's narrative, it let the circumstances speak for themselves: the horrible things weren't over-emphasized or dwelt upon; their horrific nature was enough to establish and then move on. The dialogue remained simple and telling. it was really like watching a movie of the book.

Viggo Mortensen was absolutely perfect as The Man, and the boy who played his son was spot-on. The dialogue seemed taken right from the book, for the most part. There is a fantastic small part by Robert Duvall, whom I didn't recognize until he began to speak. All in all, a really good film.

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