Wednesday, December 02, 2009

The Road (The Movie) - Two Ratings

If the success of a movie is to be measured by how faithfully it translates the written word to the big screen, then The Road deserves a score of ten out of ten.  The cinematography is sublime.  The disintegrating post-apocalyptic world is rendered hauntingly and precisely.  It's a grey world with little to no colour.  It's a depressing landscape filled with dead trees, an ashen sky, burnt out cities, and roving bands of cannibals.  All of this is impressive and faithful to my reading of the book.

The plot, too, follows very closely that of the book and I have no issues with omissions or minor changes.  For this, I give the movie a ten out of ten and would argue that this film is the best possible adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's novel.  But, that doesn't necessarily make it a good film.  At the conclusion of the film, C. assessed it at 6.5 out of ten.  She might be right.

I really like the novel.  It is a gripping story and I read it compulsively.  Good books don't always make good movies, and The Road is a prime example of that phenomenon.   So, while it may well be a great book, the movie just doesn't work.  Still, I would give it a 7.5 because I liked the novel so much.

With the exception of Wonder Boys (as I often mention), I generally prefer the novel to the film adaptation, and so it holds true for this film too.  Read the book; skip the movie.


Kate said...

Yeah, I'm not a fan of post-apocalyptic stories. I keep being told that this is the Best! Book! Ever! but I'm having trouble getting excited about it. And forgive me for comparing these things, but I feel the same way about zombies and all things undead. Call me a philistine, but I just don't care.

But I am going to have to eventually read that book.

tweetey30 said...

Why does this sound familiar. Is this one of those Stephan King books under and Alias??? I have read something like it before... Not sure..

Deodand said...

I don't wish to see this movie because the book was very depressing. I enjoyed it - but man, what a downer.