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The Road Repackaged

August 23, 2012

I finished reading The Road by Cormac McCarthy last night (8/23/2012).  It is an amazing story that has changed my life.  Better yet, it has reinforced it.  At a time when my focus and confidence were gone, here comes The Road out of nowhere.  It was cathartic.

It was an extremely difficult summer: unemployment runs out, a failed relationship, no job, no money, no school, and at times, no food.  It was The Road repackaged minus the child.  After reading this story, I knew that surviving was somehow possible.  I had to find a way.  I connected.  I did not have a choice.

I bought a used copy of The Road for $2 at a small sidewalk sale held at the Miracle Garden on my block. They let me join in, and I was selling my stuff on the sidewalk.  I made $83 and walked away with $81:  a miracle.  I made more money than they did.  I could do this!

It is clear why The Road was made into a film.  Yet, screenwriter Joe Penhall should have written a scene where the mother (Charlize Theron) interacts with the boy (Kodi Smit-McPhee).  The book never specifies the child’s age, and the boy in the film should have been cast younger.  A scene of this nature and a younger child actor would have made the film a lot more compelling.

Kodi Smit-McPhee (son) and Viggo Mortensen (father) star in John Hillcoat’s The Road, based on Cormac McCarthy’s Pulizter Prize winning novel.

Then again, the story is about the relationship between a father and his son.  As in the novel, the character of the wife/mother is somewhat static and only exists in flashbacks.  It is slightly unnatural to me that a relationship between a mother and her son is not depicted.  And, it is not like they did not have one.

A film still of Charlize Theron as the wife/mother in The Road.

The Road reinforces so much in me that I have always known to be true but took a while to figure out.  As McCarthy writes when the father (Viggo Mortensen) kills a man in his child’s defense:  “This is my child, he said.  I wash a dead man’s brains out of his hair.  That is my job.  Then he wrapped him in the blanket and carried him to the fire.”

Would my father have done the same?  Fuck it!  If I can’t have a child, I’ll adopt a dog.

NOTE:  This post is originally dated August 23, 2012.  I was just too chicken shit to post it.


From → Art, Film

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