The Road is the third post apocalypse film to I’ve seen this year, if you count Daybreakers, all three have had different tones and despite the similar settings of Book of Eli and The Road I’d say they’re in no way alike. They both include a story of a man travelling across America to find somewhere, but The Road is a slow, bleak story of surviving in a world with hardly any life left, whereas Book of Eli is basically an action film with a religious message.
The story begins with life on the road for a man and his son. The man tries to protect and feed his boy in this post apocalyptic world, but the plants and animals are all dying and the weather is harsh, so they’re heading south to try and find a warmer climate. Along the way they run in to groups of people who’ll rape, murder and eat others so they try to stay clear of everyone. And while we get flashbacks we never find out what caused the world to be like this, only that it happened unexpectedly in the middle of the night and people have killed themselves rather than live in a world like this.
The tone of the film is very grey and bleak, at times disturbing, but to me this is a good thing. The world is dead and dying, I wouldn’t expect bright, cheery and colourful. With it being an American film I kept expecting there’d be some kind of uplifting and life affirming ending or message and was glad to see there wasn’t it was just allowed to be what it was. And while it isn’t the deepest of stories, being a basic story of survival in horrible circumstances, it is engaging and left me and a friend questioning how we would cope in situations with nowhere near as much adversity as this.
Overall I liked it, it was a far better film than Book of Eli and would recommend it to anyone who likes post apocalypse stories, but if you’re easily depressed or don’t like bleak stories I’d give it a miss.