Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The road to a movie theater near you

Just found out that Cormac McCarthy's recent book, The Road, is being made into a movie. Viggo Mortensen is cast as the father, and Charlize Theron as the mother.

A little background on the book: there's an apocalyptic event that occurs and just about everyone is dead or dying. Ash and dust cover the land. Trees are dead. There's no animal life. It's a bleak landscape peppered with damning (or desperate) actions perpetrated by random survivors. Thrown against this setting is a father and a son on a trek to get to the coast. The mom is revisited in flashbacks.

The book gained considerable notoriety after winning the Pulitzer and getting the sales-boosting 'Oprah Book Club' stamp of approval.

McCarthy has been having a steady interest in his books having led them to being optioned to films: 'All The Pretty Horses', 'No Country for Old Men', 'Blood Meridian', and now 'The Road'.

However, after having read No Country for Old Men, Blood Meridian, and The Road, I can say that the latter is a great departure from his brooding and intense western-themed tales. The Road was a brisk read for me, that is, I found it to be sparse in areas where McCarthy previously would devote pages of detail. It's a sharp and raw experience: one that illustrates how heart-breakingly fragile love is, yet underscoring how it's as necessary as air to maintain our humanity.

I only hope the movie does it justice. The saving grace for me is that Will Smith and his son aren't being cast a la 'Pursuit of Happyness Pt. 2: The Aftermath'. Don't get me wrong, but Will just hasn't really stood out for me since 'Six Degrees of Separation'. He plays the same guy in all his films: 'MIB 1 & 2', 'I, Robot', 'I am Legend', 'Bad Boys 1 & 2', 'Independence Day'...but I digress.

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