I read the novel The Road by Cormack McCarthy while visiting Sarah and Ned over Thanksgiving. It was a kind of default choice; I just happened upon it in a box of books Sarah and Ned were moving out of the nursery. The movie, based on the book, finally opened in Memphis and I saw it yesterday afternoon with two friends who were probably humoring my interest rather than their own.
All of us found the film well done, hard to watch, but fascinating. I found both the book and the film to contain much more of a message of hope than most others I’ve talked with seem to find.
Watching a man and his son traveling and living off the land in seach of food and safety in a post-apocalyptic world is grim. There were many frightening images during their fight for survival, but I came away from the film feeling that there were also several important messages. The first is how deep mankind’s desire for survival must be. The second how very, very necessary it is to pass along our ideals of protecting and conserving our planet and helping others to our children if we expect our species to survive. These ideals are tempered with a strong dose of reality that there are “good guys and bad guys” and that sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference, but we can decide to be the good guys no matter what.
Sally and Aleine and I differed on whether we’d recommend the movie to a friend. I vote yes, because it is beautifully and artistically done and because I saw a message of hope for mankind.
In these frightening times it’s sometimes hard to stay focused on making choices for good. I hope I do a better job of it in the coming year.