I get that they have to sell an otherwise difficult to sell movie, especially one that is about a father and son and their love/will to survive in a post-apocalyptic wasteland.
However, the first trailer for John Hillcoat’s adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s very terrifying, very excellent The Road makes the movie look as if it is a Will Smith disaster movie.
It’s not and if we’re to believe the first review of the film from Esquire’s Tom Chiarella, and I trust his taste implicitly, the movie is nothing like the trailer and it’s actually quite like the book.
Chiarella calls The Road one of 2009’s most important films and describes it in reverential tones.
“The Road is no tease. It is a brilliantly directed adaptation of a beloved novel, a delicate and anachronistically loving look at the immodest and brutish end of us all. You want them to get there, you want them to get there, you want them to get there — and yet you do not want it, any of it, to end.
“You should see it for the simplest of reasons: Because it is a good story. Not because it may be important. Not because it is unforgettable, unyielding. Not because it horrifies. Not because the score is creepily spiritual. Not because it is littered with small lines of dialogue you will remember later. Not because it contains warnings against our own demise. All of that is so. Don’t see it just because you loved the book. The movie stands alone. Go see it because it’s two small people set against the ugly backdrop of the world undone.”
One of the things that strikes me about the book versus the movie is that in the book there is no explanation for the world’s demise, only that is has. But with the first trailer, it’s like the movie studio marketing department felt that movie goers would not except that, so they are trying to offer some trite explanation.
The Road plows its way into theaters on October 19.