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Entertainment
 
Movie Review By Zach Rupp: "The Road"
Friday, 12.11.2009, 05:12pm (GMT-5)

There is something so enchanting about the apocalypse; religions gain millions of psychotic followers daily with the threat of the apocalypse, the September 11 attacks were greeted by nut-jobs who sealed their homes with duct tape in preparation for the apocalypse, the Essenes may have vanished due to fighting in a local war which they thought was an apocalyptic battle, the sale of canned foods rose as Y2K approached, 2012 is surrounded by apocalypse theories, and Neuton argued that the world wouldn’t end until 2060.

One thing is certain: the apocalypse is insanely obsessed with the ultimate end and as far as I’m concerned, the end is just too boring to work in art. I’m not sure why people are so fascinated with the end when its brevity is totally uninspiring and its close doubly so.

My friend Jesse told me once that he was interested in the apocalypse because he had the fantasy of being the lone human survivor and as such, he said, the animals would become his friends and do his bidding. Although this is admittedly very silly, I think there is something about Jesse’s fantasy that really explains why the apocalypse is so greatly revered. No, I’m not saying that everyone wants to be the master of animals! What I am saying is that perhaps this impossible escape from complacency in the developed world has awakened in us a desire to return to the struggle for survival and a desire to merge once again with our natural surroundings.

This weekend I watched “The Road”, a movie which successfully embraces this apocalyptic vision by following a father and son through a post-apocalyptic wasteland. One of the glorious things about “The Road” is that we’re not troubled with a description of how the world became so shattered which allows us to focus instead on the psychological aspect of a people trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic world.

In this apocalyptic vision, there is no lush garden of eden environment as some might expect, but instead a complete ashen world where nothing grows and nothing seems to live but human beings. While the first question, for me at least, is “how did everything die?” it’s best to assume that not even our protagonists know exactly what went wrong. The thing that is so remarkable about this vision is that it seems to magnificently demonstrate how people might be able to be the lone survivors in a world in which nothing can grow: through non-perishable goods and simple ingenuity; filtering water is a breeze for anyone with a fifth grade education, after all. As you might expect however, these non-perishables become increasingly rare and humans cannot simply conjure a can of beans whenever they please; therefore another method of survival is introduced: cannibalism.

The movie follows two nameless protagonists, a father (Viggo Mortensen) and son (Kodi Smit-McPhee), as they brave the increasingly harsh post-apocalyptic environment in their attempt to reach the equator. Needless to say, their path is not a smooth one as they encounter bands of cannibals (not psychotic zombie people, but people like you or I), thieves, and other non-cannibals, all of whom are concerned with one thing: survival.

The kid in the movie sometimes got on my nerves, but kids are pretty annoying anyway, so I think he did a pretty great job of portraying his character. The real magic in the movie is seeing how the father and son care so deeply for one another throughout the movie; sure, they get mad at each other occasionally, but their relationship is very heartwarming and heartbreaking. “The Road” has some very disturbing scenes though, so take care if watching it with small children.


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Other Articles:
The Way I See It By Dave Conrad (12.11.2009)
Faith by Steps (12.11.2009)
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Movie Review By Zach Rupp: Foxy (12.04.2009)



 
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