Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Road

Some thoughts on the trailer for The Road:

I’ve waited a long time for this. The movie, as many of you might know already, was supposed to be released last autumn. Obviously, it didn’t make that deadline. It looks, though, like it will be released this coming autumn. Thus, the trailer.

I’m not pleased with what appears to be some manner of sorta kinda little bit of an explanation for what the hell happened to the world. I love the fact that McCarthy never specifies, that he leaves it at “a long shear of light and then a series of low concussions,” that the book never becomes, explicitly, a political screed or environmental warning.

Maybe, though, the kinda sorta explanation won’t make the film itself. Maybe?

And I’m not pleased with the truck that belches smoke from both sides. Sure, the image communicates, as an image should, and sure, it looks threatening, and, sure, it conjures up a lot of associations (all scary), but it goes too far. It’s too much.

And I’m worried about the camera that swoops up into the sky during what appears to be a chase scene.

And I recognize that the trailer may very well be sending a dramatically different message about the film than would otherwise be warranted. In some ways, it makes sense, financial sense, to market the thing as a post-apocalyptic thriller. And, hell, in some ways it is a post-apocalyptic thriller. It is the tone, though, the tone that needs to be right.

But, I’m excited about a lot of what I see, too. The look of the bridge with the abandoned semi is fantastic. And I love the bulk of the clothing the father is wearing and the desolation and fatigue visible on the characters. The dunes and the beach look amazing.

I’m intrigued by the way in which some of the father’s thoughts have been given to Charlize Theron as dialogue. I look forward to seeing how they handle other aspects of the strong “interiority” of the novel.

And, especially, I’m glad the thing is going to get released.

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