Monday, January 18, 2010

A pothole in The Road

This movie The Road: not much Hope, and sod-all Crosby.

Seriously, though, I thought it was superb. The two leads were amazing, the visuals excellent, the horror horrific, Robert Duvall everything you would want from a Robert Duvall cameo... but what in tarnation happened with the score? Soppy and sentimental a lot of the time, and far too present. I kept waiting for Meredith Baxter to show up. And it was by Nick Cave, for pete's sake.
Two examples of how the film undermined itself, only spoiler-y if you really really hate any kind of discussion of what happens. The first is in the scene where Viggo Mortensen uncovers the piano. Did it not occur to anyone that this would have had far more emotional impact if there hadn't just been a tinkly piano on the soundtrack? The second is a more general thing, relating to the numerous scenes of trudging. OK, they have to trudge along; that's the point. But they didn't need this slightly-too-hopeful Music To Trudge By. "Why are we still walking, papa?" "The music... it draws me on..."
As for the end... ah, I don't want to talk about the end. Suffice to say that if Guy Pearce's character had suddenly whipped out a knife and stabbed Nick Cave repeatedly in the stomach, I would have left the cinema floating like a cloud and filled with optimism for the human race.

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