As part of the Corona Cork Film Festival, the movie version of Cormac McCarthy’s apocalyptic novel, The Road, was shown at Cork Opera House on Sunday evening. The movie followed the festival’s closing reception at the Pavilion, and an after party took place at the same venue.
I hate to say it, but they probably couldn’t have chosen a worse movie to close the festival.
Not that The Road is a bad film. It’s an incredibly good film, actually. It’s beautifully shot, well edited, and features deep, involved performances by Viggo Mortensen, Charlize Theron, and the young Kodi Smit-McPhee, who is surely cursed with that name.
But boy is this film miserable. It’s an unrelenting 119 minutes of absolute, gut-wrenching fear and misery.
I read the book. It’s one of my favourite books, the type that leaves an impact on you for a long time afterwards, and leaves you thinking, questioning and slightly afraid of the dark. And also of not recycling – there is no reason given for the state of the world in this book, but you do get a feeling that it was the fault of humankind.
Whatever the impact of the book, the film certainly has punch. It leaves you reeling, gasping for air at times, and in need of a stiff drink!
There is a level of humanity in it that was most reminiscent, for me, of the scene in the Grapes of Wrath where Rose of Sharon breastfeeds the dying man – absolutely human and primal and somehow alien to modern sensibilities.
A brilliant film but have the brandy out for when you get home!