Monday, February 01, 2010

The Road

Finding ourselves altogether too happy, we decided we had to do something to tone things down a bit. The film," The Road" was just the ticket. By the time we'd endured 2 hours of post-apocalyptic scorched earth scenes, starvation and cannibalism, we weren't laughing anymore.

Having read the book, I knew what to expect but was curious to see how the director would handle the more sensitive parts of the story. Casting was excellent and Viggo Mortensen played the part well. The young son's role, that of metaphor for decency, was also played well by Kodi Smitt-McPhee

The idea of cannibalism is so impossible for me to grasp that I almost wanted to laugh, like you would at a really sappy horror film. Because the acting is good and the story well told, it's pretty convincing.The planet is dead and there isn't anything left to eat - all moral compasses are gone. Vigo and his son scratch for seeds in the dirt, scavenge as much as they can, but pretty well everything is gone. Their most important possession is a pistol with two bullets, reserved for suicide should they get snatched up by the roving gangs of predators.

Lest we not get the point there is one particularly grisly scene where Vigo opens up a root cellar and when they go down to see what is there (hoping for some emergency provisions) they find several naked people obviously in extremis and crazed. The scene is shot in semi-gloom and you can hear animal- like sounds coming from them. It is a cache of food alright, but food for cannibals. Next we see a bloody bath tub where butchering has probably been happening - mercifully they spared us these details and cut to a shot of a classic cannibal pot - black, round, sitting on a pile of firewood - just the right size for a human being.

Plenty of food for thought in the film and it's true to the book. The box office will never be much because who wants to pay to see such a downer...reading it was difficult but infinitely easier than seeing the misery unfold on the screen. We were shocked when a family with 3 young children took seats just in front of us. This family group was dead silent throughout - not a peep from one of the kids. All that horror for those young brains. You wonder what the parents are thinking about?

Just for fun I googled cannibal recipes and although there were only a few, this one stood out from the rest:

Quick and Easy Telemarketer Chili by Kelly Spies
Telemarketers are known for disrupting dinner with their sales pitches. If you ever manage to get your hands on one, instead of getting up from the table to answer the phone, sink your teeth into one of them with this easy to prepare chili.

1 to 1 1/2 lbs. ground telemarketer
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup water
1 cube Beef bouillon
2 (8 oz.) cans tomato sauce
2 to 3 (15 1/2 oz.) cans dark red kidney beans
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper sauce or dry pepper
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil

In large skillet, brown telemarketer with onions and drain off excess grease. Stir in water, bouillon cube and tomato sauce. Add kidney beans to the pot and season with Worcestershire sauce, red pepper, salt and pepper. Bring to boil. Reduce heat, simmer 15 to 20 minutes, and stir occasionally. Serve over tortilla chips with shredded cheese, guacamole, sour cream, black olives and onions.

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