I read the novel The Road a couple of years ago, and since then have always wanted to see the film; obviously, I never got around to it until now. It was exactly as I imagined it. Director John Hillcoat didn’t deviate much from the book, and really captured the essence of the novel. The bleakness, the grayness, the utter hopelessness of the new post-apocalyptic reality is thrown into sharp focus when contrasted with the very opening scene: the sunny and green scene where the world looks beautiful and normal.
This is all stuff I’ll talk more about tomorrow in my presentation. But I’d like to generalize by saying that The Road, unlike other post-apocalyptic films we’re familiar with (including The Matrix) uses aesthetic tools to portray the absolute hopelessness of the post-apocalyptic world. Think about the color scheme in particular- the whole movie is in shades of gray- there is no life anywhere on the planet. There is no hope for renewed life, save for what The Man sees in his son. Similar to On The Beach, there seems to be no valid hope for redemption. And when I think about it compared to the fantastical adventures of Neo or I Am Legend’s Dr. Robert Neville, I can’t help but feel like this is way more realistic. It’s a sobering thought.