The Road: A book and a movie review
This film is one that seemingly fits the concept of this post apocalyptic class in a way that most of the movies on the list seem to not be able to. While most of these films take place in a post-apocalyptic world, none of them feel as real as The Road. Featuring Viggo Mortenson in one of the lead roles, the interaction between father and son is something not often found in modern cinema. The Road is based off of a book of the same name, and atmospherically does great justice to the source material while also taking some of it's own liberties (as all Hollywood movies do!).
NOTE: SPOILERS AHEAD!
The apocalypse that has occurred in this film is one that is unnamed, though we could presume a nuclear war or some sort of virus as being the basis for this story. Ultimately, it is left up to the viewers imagination and is unimportant as we see the story of a father and a son unfold as they endure the hardships of living in this post-apocalyptic world.
The world in this film is very bleak and depressing. It seems that the apocalypse did not occur to long ago, and now the remnants of humanity are trying to just get by and survive. This film shows that survival is not an easy thing in the least.
The apocalypse found in this film is not one that can necessarily be avoided, as we are not really sure what set it off. If we are to assume that it is the result of a human related error or planning, then it is inevitable that this apocalypse could have been avoided. Again though, the focus of this film is how the characters deal with the post-apocalyptic world as opposed to the apocalypse itself. As a result, the apocalypse is very believable; as we see it only through the eyes of the two main characters (primarily at least). It makes me realize that if an apocalypse would occur, I would likely not know about it. I would just understand the cold and harsh reality that has been given to me, like the characters in this stories come to face.
The characters in this film are not particularly well known people in society. They are not scientists or government officials who would potentially “know” about what causes the apocalypse, but rather they are just every day individuals like most people to inhabit this planet.
The actions taken in this film, on the whole, are very believable. While I do not believe that everyone who walks the planet would be able to stand up to cannibal, murder and rob people, and avoid committing suicide in a scenario like this; there are definitely people who could make it through this new world in this fashion. This film feels very real on the whole, which just adds to its depressing nature. It was so depressing that it managed to make me burst out in tears by the time the credits rolled, as I reflected on my own life and previous traumas.
The primary influence I see in this film stems from evolutionary theory, as we see human beings have evolved and likely destroyed itself (resulting in devolution), and a return to a more simplistic way of living where only the strongest can survive.
This new world is ruthless, and the main characters only manage to survive for a majority of the movie because of what they are willing to do to survive (such as kill and rob people). Ultimately, the father in this film dies on a beach, which is significant as it relates to evolution because he is a strong individual, and the nature of this apocalypse is what has ultimately killed him. However, his young son is able to live on and meet up with others; and in this way he will likely be able to survive in a group. All in all, this movie was fantastic and explores a post-apocalyptic world very well.
I would highly recommend The Road (starring Viggo Mortenson of Lord of the Rings fame), both in it's film and book forms. It is an overwhelmingly bleak and depression story, but one that is not overdone. It feels very real to say the least, and that is not something we can often come by in a story these days.